Kazakh citizens headed to the polls on Sunday for a snap parliamentary election, which resulted in a significant win for President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan party.
The elections were announced in January of this year after lawmakers asked President Nazarbayev to dissolve the Mazhilis – the lower house of the Kazakh parliament – ahead of schedule. The decision comes in response to new challenges faced by the country as a result of the current economic downturn.
According to election officials, the Nur Otan party won 82.15% of the vote. Preliminary results indicate that two other parties – the Communist People’s Party and Ak Zhol – passed the 7% threshold needed to win seats in the 107-seat Mazhilis. Voter turnout was 77.1%.
Nazarbayev congratulated his party and praised the elections yesterday, stating: “This is a great accomplishment of our democracy”. He called on other countries “not to rush” Kazakhstan on the path toward democracy, stating that his nation had “different relationships – family relationships, a different religion and different opportunities between people.”