Kazakhstan

Nur Otan dead cert to win today


Published

Around 9.2 million people will go to the polls in Kazakhstan today to vote for 98 of the 107 members of the Majlis or lower house.

Polling stations will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. local time and voters will be able to choose from eight political parties and 386 candidates.

In reality, however, the party of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Nur Otan Party is likely to make a near clean sweep of the polls. In the 2007 poll they won every seat, largely because the threshold for winning a seat is set at 7%, a target seen as unrealistic for most of the smaller parties. A highly divided and fractious opposition doesn’t help their chances.

The only two parties with any real chances of getting any representation are the Communists and the pro-business Ak Zhol party.

Although there will be more than 1,000 international observers present, most are already saying that the elections are not conducted in a free or fair environment.

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