Kazakhstani legislative election, 2012

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Parliamentary elections were held in Kazakhstan on 15 January 2012. The result was a victory for the Nur Otan party, which won 83 of the 98 seats in the Mazhilis. However, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) stated that the election "did not meet fundamental principles of democratic elections."[1]

Background[edit]

The elections marked the first time that the second-placed party would gain parliamentary seats irrespective of whether it cleared the 7% electoral threshold.[2] Due to the 2011 Mangystau riots and the resulting state of emergency there, the election was not planned to be held in Zhanaozen.[3] However, this decision was overturned on 10 January 2012.[4]

Campaign[edit]

Seven parties ran in the election: Nur Otan, Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol, Kazakhstani Social Democratic Party Auyl, Democratic Party Adilet, Nationwide Social Democratic Party (OSDP), Party of Patriots of Kazakhstan and the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan. The OSDP was the only party considered to be in opposition to long-time president Nursultan Nazarbayev.[2]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Nur Otan 5,621,436 80.99 83 –15
Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol 518,405 7.47 8 +8
Communist People's Party 498,788 7.19 7 +7
Nationwide Social Democratic Party 116,534 1.68 0 0
Kazakhstani Social Democratic Party Auyl 82,623 1.19 0 0
Party of Patriots 57,732 0.83 0 0
Democratic Party Adilet 45,702 0.66 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 77,707
Total 7,018,927 100 98 0
Registered voters/turnout 9,303,693 75.44
Source: Adam Carr

Reactions[edit]

The opposition claimed there was widespread irregularities and fraud. The OSCE and US Department of State did not recognise the elections as democratic.[5]

Miklos Haraszti, the head of the OSCE's long-term election-observation mission, criticized what he called a "tightly controlled campaign environment in which the electoral rights of the citizens were seriously limited." "There was limited public debate and the media, the mass media operates in an environment characterized by self-censorship and in which there is no room for editorial independence in the broadcast media." Haraszti said the "results of the election, including the presence of two parties apart from the state party, can be described as an orchestrated election."[1]

References[edit]