[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Kazakh ruling party set 'to win'
One exit poll released with official blessing gives 77.3 per cent to Nur Otan party.
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2007 03:42 GMT
Election officials said they would publish preliminary results at 0500 GMT on Sunday [AFP]

Nursultan Nazarbayev's party is expected to be confirmed on Sunday as the overwhelming victor in a parliamentary election and there are doubts whether the main opposition party will win a seat.
 
One exit poll released with official blessing gave 77.3 per cent to the Kazakh president's Nur Otan.
The poll forecast the opposition All-National Social Democratic Party (ANSDP) would narrowly fail to pass a seven per cent barrier to enter parliament.
 
Election officials said they would publish preliminary results at 0500 GMT on Sunday.

The announcement of the results will be followed within hours by initial findings from voting monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

 

Mixed record

 

Nazarbayev, 67, in power since Soviet times in 1989, has overseen rapid economic growth in the oil-rich Central Asian state.

 

However, his electoral victories have never been judged free and fair by international poll monitors.

   

Nazarbayev got the lower house of parliament
remove term limits on his presidency [EPA]

Saturday's poll for the lower house of parliament, the Mazhilis, set Nazarbayev's wish to keep a tight grip on the vast country against his desire to be viewed in the West as a reforming international statesman.    

 

The ANSDP said it had gathered photographic evidence of a range of violations, including multiple voting and campaign literature for Nur Otan in polling stations.

 

Nazarbayev wants Kazakhstan to chair the OSCE, a 56-member democracy, rights and security body, in 2009 but has faced opposition due to his poor record on democracy.

   

He called the election two years early after enacting constitutional changes that hand the lower house more powers such as naming the prime minister.

 

They also removed any limit on how many terms he can serve as president.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
Whatever the referendum's outcome, energy created by the grassroots independence campaign has changed Scottish politics.
Traders and farmers struggle to cope as restrictions on travel prevent them from doing business and attending to crops.
Unique mobile messaging service, mMitra, helps poor pregnant women in Mumbai fight against maternal mortality.
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
join our mailing list