Kazakhstan Elections Confirmed Stability of the Course Set by Mr. Nazarbayev

On 10 January 2021, the Republic of Kazakhstan (RoK) held parliamentary elections in the lower house (Mazhilis)

According to the CEC, "Nur Otan" ("Light of the Fatherland"), the party led by the leader of the nation Nursultan Nazarbayev, demonstrated a convincing victory. It won more than 71% of the vote and will occupy 76 of the 107 seats in the Mazhilis (98 deputies are elected in general elections, 9 are nominated by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, an advisory body controlled by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan). This will allow the party to retain its constitutional majority in Parliament and control the formation of the government.

The leader of the nation Nursultan Nazarbayev

Nur Otan received a slightly lower result than in the previous elections, losing 8 seats (in the previous composition of the Mazhilis it had 84 seats), which is due to the complication of the socio-economic situation in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. The opposition represented by the democratic party "Ak Zhol" ("Bright Path") and the People's Party of Kazakhstan (formerly the Communist People's Party) has strengthened to some extent. The first one won 10.95% of votes and 12 seats, the second 9.1% of voters and 10 seats. Thus, the same parties from the previous elections are represented in Mazhilis. Two more parties — "Auyl" ("Village") and "Adal" ("Fair") — failed to overcome the electoral barrier of 7% of the vote.

The results of the elections showed that the authorities of the republic managed to maintain socio-political stability during the pandemic and economic downturn. The elections were held in a tranquil atmosphere with a relatively high turnout (63.3%) of voters. The few protests over the alleged violations could not affect the total outcome of the will of the citizens of Kazakhstan.

Many observers noted the large-scale preparatory work carried out by the leadership of Nur Otan in strict compliance with democratic principles. The party was not afraid to go for a significant renewal and rejuvenation of its ranks. In the course of the internal party selection held in August-October 2020, the list of candidates for deputies was significantly updated. Of these, only 20% previously held seats in Parliament. In addition, the average age of members of the party list has significantly decreased. Before the elections, the leadership of the party updated its platform, and in the public reception rooms of Nur Otan, the activity of processing citizens' appeals was intensified.

The parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan were highly appreciated by observers from the CIS member states. In particular, the head of the CIS observation mission, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defence and Security of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation V.N. Bondarev stressed that the elections "were held on a multiparty basis, were transparent, fair, competitive." The coordinator of the monitoring group of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member States, Chairman of the Committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation on Agrarian and Food Policy and Environmental Management A.P. Mayorov noted the high quality of the organisation of the elections. According to him, "fair, competitive fight in accordance to the local legislation" took place.

Elections in Kazakhstan

It is obvious that the results of the elections will allow Kazakhstan to maintain the course set by N. Nazarbayev to maintain socio-political stability in the country and on this basis to implement the construction of a "hearing state" proclaimed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. This concept defines the social well-being of citizens as the top priority. There are reasons to expect Kazakhstan to remain true to the principle of a multi-vector foreign policy while maintaining relations of good neighbourliness, alliance and strategic partnership with Russia.

Kazakhstan Nazarbayev