Kazakhstan’s president and his party have swept to a massive landslide election victory, but observers say the parliamentary vote failed to meet international standards. Nursultan Nazarbayev’s ruling Nur Otan party received 88 percent of the vote and is set to monopolise parliament. The main opposition party had nothing to celebrate, losing their solitary seat.
Hundreds of observers from the international election watchdog, the OSCE, were monitoring voting. Their initial report mentioned a lack of transparency during ballot counting and a high threshold of seven percent for parties to enter parliament. But despite falling short of international norms, the OSCE said the process shows signs of progress.
Nazarbayev has been in power for 18 years but has never won an election deemed free and fair by observers. The vote, called two years early, was seen as a test of Kazakhstan’s electoral credibility.