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Central & South Asia
Kazakh government wins confidence vote
Karim Masimov, country's new prime minister, pledges to implement the long-ruling president's "modernisation course".
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2012 11:29
 Masimov has held his post since 2007, making him the country's longest-serving prime minister [Reuters]

Kazakhstan's government led by Karim Masimov has won a vote of confidence in the country's newly elected lower chamber of parliament, the chamber's speaker, Nurlan Nigmatulin, announced following the ballot.

A total of 92 deputies in the Majlis, or lower house, voted for the prime minister, while five voted against and eight abstained.

"Your confidence means a new mandate to implement the president's course towards the modernisation of the nation," Masimov said after Friday's vote.

Speaking at the opening of parliament, President Nursultan Nazarbayev praised the election of a multiparty parliament as a new phase in the nation's democratic development.

Masimov, 46, is a devoted long-term loyalist of Nazarbayev, who wields vast powers in the oil-rich nation of 16 million people.

"We have hard and challenging tasks set by the Leader of the Nation, and we must cope with them," Masimov said, in a reference to the official title granted to Nazarbayev by parliament in 2010.

New Majlis formed

The new Majlis house was formed in a parliamentary election on January 15.

Nazarbayev's Nur Otan party won 81 per cent of the vote, pro-business Ak Zhol polled 7.5 per cent and the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan 7.2 per cent.

A total of 92 deputies in the Majlis, or lower house of parliament, voted for Masimov [EPA]

Changes to electoral law had guaranteed seats for the runner-up even if it had failed to meet the seven per cent entry threshold.

Four of the seven parties standing polled less than the minimum amount needed to enter the lower chamber.

The Majlis has 107 seats, of which 98 were elected by the voting public and nine were appointed by the People's Assembly of Kazakhstan to reflect some of the country's many different ethnic groups.

Monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) expressed substantial misgivings over the conduct of the election, saying the vote count lacked transparency.

Kazakhstan said the assessment lacked balance, but that the government remained committed to co-operation with the OSCE.

Masimov has held his post since 2007, making him the country's longest-serving prime minister since the country gained independence in 1991.

Source:
Agencies
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