Significant Election Campaign

March 15, 2023

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CEC held a joint briefing for representatives of foreign diplomats accredited in the country, devoted to the upcoming elections to Mazhilis of the Parliament and Maslikhats on March 19.

Opening the event, Roman Vassilenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, pointed out that the upcoming elections to Mazhilis and maslikhats of all levels are a momentous event for Kazakhstan, marking one of the most transformational periods in the modern history of the country.

“These elections are another step on the way to consolidation of democracy,” emphasized Roman Vasilenko. “Kazakhstan has essentially become a new state. The country is undergoing a comprehensive political modernization, which is unique in its scale and depth.”

He pointed out that despite the internal and external challenges our country managed to implement a set of very important reforms, and this is a vivid demonstration of the fact that Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is consistently committed to his formula “Strong President - Influential Parliament - Accountable Government.” The leadership of the country has a clear and firm intention to ensure continuous progress and positive changes while maintaining stability and unity in the state and society.

- Ultimately these elections will boost our national modernization through a renewed democratic mandate to carry out inclusive and far-reaching reforms, - said Roman Vasilenko.

He also emphasized that Kazakhstan is committed to holding elections in full compliance with national legislation and the best international practices.
The Chairman of the Central Election Commission Nurlan Abdirov told at the briefing about the preparations for the upcoming elections. He reminded that the current election campaign is the fourth in the last 10 months.
- We have held a national referendum on making additions and amendments to the Constitution, elections of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as the deputies of the Senate of the Parliament. All efforts of the Central Election Commission are invariably aimed at conducting fair, genuine and free elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan, - said Nurlan Abdirov.

He also pointed out that though the elections to Mazhilis of the Parliament scheduled for March 19 by the Decree of the President are formally extraordinary, they are conducted in accordance with the schedule of election campaigns presented by the Head of State in his Message to the people of Kazakhstan in September 2022.

Nurlan Abdirov informed us about the most substantial changes in the election laws. In particular he mentioned such points as transition to mixed proportional-majoritarian model, and transfer of territorial election commissions to professional basis.

The CEC Chairman also spoke briefly about the results of the stages of the election campaign. He informed about the results of nomination and registration of candidates to Mazhilis.

In particular, he mentioned that party lists of candidates were registered by all 7 political parties. They included 281 candidates, 107 of whom were women, young people and people with disabilities.

Nurlan Abdirov also spoke about the stage of election campaign (it will last until 00.00 hours on March 18).

“Equal conditions of access to mass media for campaigning and equal allocation of funds for presentation of programs were provided for candidates and political parties. On 1 and 10 March, pre-election debates organized by political parties were held live on Qazaqstan and KTK TV channels. The CEC has set March 16 for three rounds of televised debates between the political parties on the Khabar TV channel," he said.

During the election campaign, the CEC is working openly: sessions are broadcast online and accompanied by sign-language interpretation, and media and international observers are present. There is a lot of work on information support of the election campaign.

Nurlan Abdirov noted that in the framework of international partnership the CEC of Kazakhstan is open for cooperation with international institutions, NGOs and the expert community.

He informed that the OSCE ODIHR prepared the Interim Report on observation of early elections of deputies of Majilis, which was published on March 3. And on March 11, the Interim Report of the CIS Observation Mission on the course of observation of the preparation of the early elections was published.

Head of CEC also shared the results of accreditation of international observers, which ended on March 13. According to his information, 793 observers were accredited, including representatives of the OSCE ODIHR Observation Mission, the OSCE PA, the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, the CSTO PA, the Organization of Turkic States, TurkPA, SCO, CICA, OIC, the Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, and also from 41 foreign countries.
Ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions of foreign states accredited in Kazakhstan were also accredited as international observers. Nurlan Abdirov thanked the diplomatic corps for their intention to participate in monitoring of the early elections to Mazhilis.

Representatives of central election commissions of 16 countries, including chairmen of central election commissions of Azerbaijan, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will arrive to observe elections via bilateral cooperation.

“For international observers we have all necessary conditions for full-scale monitoring of the preparation and conduct of early elections. The CEC and local commissions will take all necessary measures to hold elections in strict compliance with existing legislation, and ensure the maximum openness, transparency and democratic procedures of the electoral process” assured Nurlan Abdirov.

During the briefing, the heads of foreign diplomatic missions asked questions on the organization of the upcoming voting and tabulation of election results, election observation and other aspects. The CEC Chairman and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs gave ample answers to the questions of diplomats.