On March 7, under the chairmanship of Nurlan Abdirov, a regular meeting of the CEC was held as part of the preparation and conduct of elections to Mazhilis of Parliament and Maslikhats of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The following issues as conduction of pre-election debates, accreditation of observers from foreign countries and international organizations, implementation of online services to check the registration of citizens at the electronic government portal and registration of citizens at the addresses of polling stations, as well as setting a different start and end time of voting at some polling stations in the early elections of deputies to Mazhilis and Maslikhats of the Republic of Kazakhstan, scheduled for March 19, 2023 were discussed.
The meeting was attended by Chairmen and members of territorial election commissions of oblasts, Astana, Almaty and Shymkent cities, and also by chiefs of Akims' offices of these regions (in VC mode), representatives of political parties, mass media, responsible officials of the General Prosecutor's Office, Ministries of Interior, Finance, Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry, and management of Khabar Agency JSC.
Representatives of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission and the Observer Mission from the Commonwealth of Independent States also took part.
The meeting was broadcasted through the Internet and YouTube with sign language interpretation.
Turning to the first item on the agenda Nurlan Abdirov noted that on the 27th of February it was decided to hold TV election debates on March 16th on the air of Khabar TV channel.
On the questions of TV debates on the election of deputies to Mazhilis of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan to be held on March 19, 2023 the CEC member Anastasia Schegortsova has made a report.
She said that Khabar TV channel had developed the Regulations for holding pre-election debates of political parties. The regulations establish the general requirements for participants, sequence of performances, language and duration of debates.
According to the Regulation, the pre-election debates of political parties will be held in three rounds. Debaters will have an opportunity to present their election programs, ask their opponents questions, answer voters' questions, and address the electorate.
The resolution of the Central Election Commission has agreed on the Rules of Debates and approved the composition of participants in the TV debates, whose candidacies are represented by political parties (Yerlan Koshanov from the AMANAT political party, Zhiguli Dairabayev from the Auyl People's Democratic Patriotic Party, Aidarbek Khojanazarov from the Respublica party, Yermukhamet Yertysbaev from People's Party of Kazakhstan, Azamat Amirtaev from Baitak Kazakhstan Green Party, Azat Peruashev from Aq Jol Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, Nurlan Auesbaev from PSDP party).
Mukhtar Yerman, Secretary of the Central Election Commission, spoke on the second issue. He informed that since opening of International Observation Institute 165 observers from 16 foreign countries and 4 international organizations were accredited.
Today 157 observers from 23 foreign countries and 6 international organizations were received accreditation: 1 from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Great Britain, Germany, Georgia, Iraq, Spain, Italy, Norway, Russia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia; 2 from Canada, Mongolia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Poland, and Croatia; 3 from Hungary, Lithuania, and Turkey; 4 from the United States of America.
Seventy-seven candidates were also sent by the CIS Observer Mission and eleven by the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly.
The Observer Mission of the Organization of Turkic States sent six nominees; Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic States sent 20 nominees; Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) sent two nominees and three more nominees were presented by International Turkic Academy.
Konstantin Petrov, Deputy Chairman of the CEC, made a report on the third issue and said that local executive bodies have done a lot of work on the voter lists.
At the same time, the practice of the past election campaigns shows that often citizens do not take timely measures to check themselves in the voter lists. And they apply for inclusion in the voter list right on the day of voting.
Therefore, the Central Election Commission, together with the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, has worked out and prepared joint acts on the operation of two online services for the current election campaign:
- on verification of information on the place of registration of citizens on the portal of "e-government" (CEC and MDDI AI);
- on registration of citizens by the addresses of polling stations (CEC, MDDI AI, Ministry of Internal Affairs).
The essence of the online service of checking the information at the place of registration of citizens: members of precinct election commissions, who are allowed access to the service through the portal E-gov, upon written request of a voter, can receive information about the place of his permanent registration for inclusion in the voter list.
If the information about the applicant's permanent registration at the place of residence in the territory within the boundaries of the corresponding polling station is confirmed, the precinct election commission decides to include him/her in the voter list. Otherwise, a reasoned decision to refuse inclusion in the voter list is made, and the applicant is given a copy of it.
This service will be available at 4,055 polling stations.
Also, in order to execute the voting right of the citizens who were not registered at the place of their residence and were not included earlier in the voter's list, the temporary registration at the polling station address is allowed on the day of voting. Such a possibility is presented at 188 polling stations throughout the republic.
At the meeting Deputy Minister of digital development, innovations and aerospace industry Aset Turysov gave more details about the work of services, including mechanisms of control and the inadmissibility of multiple registrations of citizens.
Nurlan Abdirov emphasized that digital documents, which are the analogue of the original, have become in great demand among citizens. On the day of voting citizens can provide digital documents via eGoov mobile application, as well as mobile applications of popular banks.
In preparation for the current election campaign, members of precinct election commissions received additional training on document verification.
In order to inform citizens about the possibility of using electronic documents, the Central Election Commission has prepared two video clips in Kazakh and Russian languages, which were shown during the meeting; they will also be broadcast on the republican and regional TV channels.
By the way, the Central Election Commission prepared special bilingual videos on 11 topics of the election campaign, including the inclusion and verification of citizens in the voter lists, absentee ballots, out-of-country voting, voting abroad, etc.
Moving on to the fourth item on the agenda, the CEC Chairman said that the CEC members continue to travel to the regions (so far 14 regions have been visited) to check the preparedness of electoral infrastructure, activities of election administrators, provide necessary methodological and practical assistance to the participants of electoral process.
At the same time, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitutional Law on Elections, as well as the Calendar Plans of major activities for the preparation and conduct of early elections of deputies to Mazhilis of Parliament and Maslikhats, territorial and precinct election commissions carry out a number of necessary measures.
Before March 9, 2023, decisions of corresponding territorial electoral commissions on establishment of other time of the beginning and the end of voting at separate polling stations will be brought to voters.
Concluding the meeting, Nurlan Abdirov noted that today's meeting is taking place on the eve of the International Women's Day. The CEC head took this opportunity to warmly congratulate all women with this wonderful spring holiday.
After meeting, a traditional briefing was held for the media, during which members of the CEC answered all questions of journalists.