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Head of the Estonian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Marianne Mikko is on an observation mission to Kazakhstan, where early parliamentary elections will be held on Sunday.

Mikko said that the PACE delegation would monitor adherence to the principles of democracy during the elections. “We hope for the best from the conducting of elections, but the opposite also cannot be excluded,” Mikko said, and added that special attention would be paid to organisational details of the elections.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev dissolved the Mazhilis, the lower house of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, on 20 January and set the early parliamentary elections for 20 March. Regular elections were to take place in November, or eight months later.

“According to the authorities of Kazakhstan, the main reason for having early elections was that the country needed new fresh ideas on how to boost its economy. Global instability, low prices of goods and other external factors have put the economy of Kazakhstan to test,” Mikko said.

Last parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan were held on 15 January 2012, and they were also early elections. Eight political parties participated in the elections, three of them passed the election threshold (7%) and won seats in the Parliament. The National Democratic Party Nur Otan (“Light of the Fatherland”) has 83 seats in the Parliament, the Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol (“Bright Path”) has 8 seats and the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan has 7 seats. 98 members of the 107-member lower house (Mazhilis) of the Parliament of Kazakhstan are elected by the people, 9 members are elected by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, an advisory body to the President of Kazakhstan.

Before the elections, 11 election observers from the PACE will participate in meetings with political candidates, non-governmental organisations, representatives of the media and international experts. During the elections, the election observers will monitor the conformity of the elections to international and local laws. The observers will monitor the voting procedures in polling divisions, the registration of voters, the correspondence of ballot papers to the number of voters, the organisation of work at polling divisions, etc.

More information: Marianne Mikko, +372 5646 3614

Riigikogu Press Service
Kati Varblane
Phone: +372 631 6353; +372 51 69 152
kati.varblane@riigikogu.ee
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee

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