On March 13, under the chairmanship of Nurlan Abdirov, a regular meeting of the Central Election Commission was held as part of the preparation and conduct of the elections to Mazhilis of the Parliament and Maslikhats of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The following issues were discussed: the accreditation of international and national observers, results of the accreditation of observers from foreign countries and international organizations, as well as the provision of sanitary and preventive measures on the day of voting at the early elections of deputies to Mazhilis and Maslikhats of the Republic of Kazakhstan, scheduled for March 19, 2023.
Territorial election commissions of regions, cities of Astana, Almaty and Shymkent, and also member of CEC Shavhat Utemisov, who was in Atyrau region with inspection check, participated in the meeting in the mode of VCS.
Representatives of political parties, mass media, responsible officials of the General Prosecutor's Office, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Internal Affairs, Finance, Information and Public Development, and Health were also invited.
Representatives of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission and the Observer Mission from the Commonwealth of Independent States traditionally participated in the meeting. As always, the session had sign language interpretation and was broadcasted through the Internet and YouTube.
While opening the meeting, Nurlan Abdirov said that within the framework of preparation and holding of elections to Mazhilis of Parliament and Maslikhats of the republic, since February 21 the members of Central Election Commission have made inspection visits to the regions to provide methodological and practical assistance to the election commissions. To date, 19 regions were visited and, as already noted, Shavkhat Utemisov was on business trip in the twentieth region.
During the inspection visits to the regions the members of the CEC got acquainted with the work of territorial and district election commissions, checked the readiness of polling stations and held meetings with the heads of regional structures of state bodies on the preparation to the upcoming elections.
Special attention was paid to preparation of polling stations for the voting day and creation of necessary conditions for citizens, including those with disabilities and special needs. With the members of territorial, district and precinct election commissions the training on preparation of the members of commissions with the use of business game "Voting Day" was conducted.
Based on the results of the meetings, the chairmen of territorial and district election commissions were given specific instructions to equip the polling stations taking into account the accessibility and convenience for all citizens and to provide conditions for effective observation on Election Day.
Turning to the first item on the agenda, the CEC Chairman said that in accordance with the provisions of the Constitutional Law on Elections, the accreditation of observers of foreign countries and international organizations ends five days before election day, i.e. today, March 13 at 18.00 local time.
Secretary of Central Election Commission Mukhtar Erman made a report on the subject, who informed that since the opening of international observation 322 observers from 34 foreign countries and 9 international organizations have been accredited.
As of today's meeting 473 observers from 17 foreign countries and 9 international organizations have been nominated for accreditation: 1 each from Austria, Mongolia, Russia, Northern Macedonia and the Republic of South Africa; 2 each from Azerbaijan, France, Indonesia, Hungary and Romania; 3 each from the Philippines, Finland and Japan; 4 each from Germany and Turkey; 5 each from Uzbekistan; 19 each from the United States; 284 each from the OSCE ODIHR Mission; 79 each from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly; 8 candidates from Observer Mission of the Commonwealth of Independent States; 22 candidates from CIS Inter-parliamentary Assembly; 1 candidate from CSTO Parliamentary Assembly; 16 candidates from Shanghai Cooperation Organization; 3 candidates from Organization of Islamic Cooperation; 2 candidates each from Organization of Turkic States and Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly.
Mukhtar Yerman informed that the CEC received a note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the withdrawal of accreditation for two Canadian representatives, accredited earlier as short-term observers in the OSCE ODIHR Mission, and a note about the impossibility for two members of the Organization of Turkic States to participate in the observation and the need to make changes in the composition of this Mission. In this regard the CEC adopted a relevant decision.
The second item of the meeting was the report of CEC member Anastasia Shchegortsova, who informed that one of the innovations of the current election campaign is the accreditation of public associations and nonprofit organizations for election monitoring.
As we reported earlier, public associations and non-profit organizations, whose statutes provide for election observation activities, are subject to accreditation. Political parties do not require accreditation for observation.
Accreditation is not tied to a specific election campaign. In order to receive accreditation, it is necessary to submit an application form and an extract from the charter to the corresponding election commission, confirming the right to carry out election observation.
The certificate of accreditation is issued for one year and entitles national and NCOs to participate in all elections in the territory of the Republic, regional POs and NCOs - in elections within the regions where they have their structural units, and local POs and NCOs are entitled to participate in all elections within the same region.
Anastasiya Shchegortsova also notes that at the moment the CEC has accredited 10 public associations and non-profit organizations. They can monitor all 20 regions of the country. Territorial election commissions issued accreditation certificates to 201 organizations. They will conduct observation in all elections within the regions where they are accredited and where they have branches.
The register of accredited observation organizations is posted on the website of the CEC and is constantly updated.
The third issue on the agenda was summarizing the results of accreditation of observers from foreign countries and international organizations at early elections of deputies to Majilis of the Parliament. Secretary of CEC Mukhtar Erman made a report.
He said that since the opening of the institute of international observation the Central Election Commission has adopted 11 resolutions. Today, at 6 pm, accreditation has been completed. A total of 793 observers from 41 foreign countries and 12 international organizations were accredited.
Commenting on the issue, Mr. Nurlan Abdirov said that the presence of international observers at the election promotes openness and transparency of the campaign and compliance with international obligations by the state. The presence of international observers is also a confirmation of our commitment to international obligations and the continuation of close cooperation with international organizations, foreign states in the electoral sphere.
The Head of the CEC also drew attention to the participation of delegations of Central Electoral Commissions of 16 countries, 5 of which were headed by their chairmen.
During the meeting the CEC Chairman also noted that as of today 11 legal entities have notified the CEC about the public opinion polls in accordance with the Constitutional Law. The information about them is posted on the official internet resource.
He also drew attention to the fact that in accordance with the norms of the Constitutional law on elections it is not allowed to publish the results of public opinion polls, forecasts of election results, other studies related to elections, voting for or against candidates on the Internet within five days before voting day and on voting day. Thus, today, March 13, is the last day for announcing the results of the poll. From tomorrow it is forbidden to publish or reprint information about the results of the poll.
On the fourth item on the agenda on the epidemiological situation in the republic and measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection on the day of voting, Vice-Minister of Health - Chief State Sanitary Doctor Aizhan Esmagambetova made a report.
She reported that the epidemiological situation of coronavirus infection in the Republic is stable. Up to 100 cases of COVID-19 are registered per day.
According to the epidemiological situation assessment matrix the republic and all regions are in the green zone.
At the same time, the seasonal rise in the incidence of SARS and influenza continues. Since the start of the epidemic season (October 1, 2022) there have been 3.8 million cases of SARS and 3,234 cases of influenza. An average of 160,000 cases of acute respiratory infections have been reported each week.
Currently, in addition to influenza, acute respiratory viral infections and coronavirus, there is a complication of the epidemiological situation with measles. In Kazakhstan, 56 cases of suspected measles have been registered, 20 of which have been confirmed by the laboratory.
Aizhan Esmagambetova stressed that the format of the elections involves the simultaneous presence of election commission members, observers and proxies. In this regard, given the current situation in the Republic regarding measles, coronavirus infection, as well as the epidemiological season of acute respiratory infections and influenza, during the extraordinary elections the Ministry of Health recommended to regulate the flow of participants of the electoral process, without allowing crowding, ensuring the smooth functioning of air ventilation, airing of rooms and regular wet cleaning with disinfectants before the voting and during the day.
Traditionally, after each session there was a briefing for the mass media, during which the members of the Central Electoral Commission and the invited representatives of the state bodies answered all the questions of the journalists.