December 4, 2005

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Kazakhstan’s  presidential election  became an important milestone in Kazakhstan’s history with implications for the future and the wider region.

In September 2005, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev declared his commitment to ensuring the upcoming election would be “free, fair and transparent.” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a visit to Astana earlier in October, said “with the presidential election in December, Kazakhstan has an unprecedented opportunity to lead Central Asia toward a future of democracy and to elevate U.S.-Kazakhstani relations to a new level.”

October 25 marked the official opening of the campaign. The election was a lively one.Kazakhstan’s Central Election Commission registered five candidates who met all the requirements:

1. Yerassyl Abylkassymov, a leader of the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan and a deputy of the Majilis
2. Alikhan Baimenov, Chairman of the Ak Zhol political party
3. Mels Eleusizov, leader of the Tabigat (Nature) environmental protection nongovernmental organization
4. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan and the leader of the Otan political party, and
5. Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, Chairman of the For a Fair Kazakhstan movement.

The 55 member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)  set up an office in Astana with a staff of 43 long term observers. Four hundred more observers from the OSCE
came to Kazakhstan for Election Day. Thousands of other foreign observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States, foreign nations, as well as local observers, many from NGOs, also monitored the election.

Preliminary results (as of 10.00 am Astana time, Monday, December 5, 2005):

Candidate / Party  Number of votesPercentage
Nursultan Nazarbayev / Otan Party 6,100,69491.01
Zharmakhan Tuyakbai / For a Fair Kazakhstan movement 445,047 6.64
Alikhan Baimenov / Ak Zhol Democratic Party   110,462 1.65
Yerassyl Abylkassymov / Communist People’s Party  25,330 0,38
Mels Yeleusizov / Tabigat (Nature) movement      21.674 0.32

Recent election related stories:
(latest on top)

President Welcomes Constructive Opposition in Country,
Says Economic Growth, Better Living Standards Are Priorities >>

World Leaders Congratulate Nazarbayev on Reelection >>

Observers Call Election A “Step Forward”, Say Delivery Will Be Critical for President >>

Modern Touches Seen in Kazakh Election >>

Foreign Minister Says Kazakhs’ Free Choice Should Be Respected >>

Observers Say Election Is Step Forward, More Work Remains >>

A Model for Central Asia
Wall Street Journal Europe, December 2, 2005
By Vladimir Socor, senior fellow at the Washington-based
Jamestown Foundation, publishers of the Eurasia Daily Monitor >>

The Kazakh Way to Democracy: Evolution, Not Revolution
By Kanat Saudabayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the USA >>

First Exit Polls Set for December 4, Researches Seek Data >>

Major National Media Cover Nazarbayev, Tuyakbai, Baimenov >>

Election Officials Put Final Touches On Ahead of Vote >>

President Ratifies Membership in UN Rights Pact >>

Poll Shows Nazarbayev with 76 Percent Support, 75 Percent of Voters Intend to Vote >>

Real GDP Shows Nine Percent Growth in 10 Months >>

Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan: The Political, Economic, and Development Agenda
A summary of the Hudson Institute Event of November 17, 2005 >>

Fair Election Could Make Kazakhstan a "Leader" in Central Asia
State's Bryza discusses presidential elections, political reform >>

"We strive to bring election legislation of Kazakhstan in full
compliance with Copenhagen Document standards"
Statement by H.E. Rakhat Aliyev, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan,
at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, November 17, 2005 >>

Candidates Square off in First Ever TV Election Debates >>

CEC Chair: Observers Will Get Vote Count on Spot,
Full Results to Be Announced 24 Hours Later >>

Government to Send Election Law Amendment to Parliament >>

Take Democratization Slowly, So That Everyone Wins >>

CEC Leaves No Stone Unturned In Search for Increased Transparency >>

New Media Center Ready to Help Journalists Cover Election >>

Hastings Calls For Fair Vote, Hopes Kazakhstan Will Chair OSCE >>

OSCE Observation Mission Eyes Campaign, Report Due Soon >>

Parliament Ratifies UN Civil and Political Rights Covenant >>

U.S. Strategy in Central Asia: Balancing Security, Energy,
Regional Economic Cooperation and Democratic Reforms >>

Presidential Campaigns Opens, Five in Running >>

CEC Accredits Almost 100 Foreign Observers >>

Economic Growth Underpins Democracy, Says Nazarbayev >>

Embassy Marks 14th National Day >>

Presidential Election Campaign Heats Up >>

Major News Media Sign Clean Election Charter >>

President Nazarbayev Calls for Free and Transparent Elections
As Key to Continued Economic and Democratic Development >>

Presidential Election Set for December 4 >>

A Decade Later, Constitution Still Lynchpin of Success >>

Constitutional Council Rules NGO Bills Unconstitutional >>

Constitutional Council Backs Presidential Election Dec. 4 >>

Senate Election in Kazakhstan Strengthen Otan’s Position >>

A Stronger Economy Leads to Greater Democracy, Says Tokaev >>

Bush Calls Kazakhstan’s Stability and Prosperity a ‘Model’ >>

A Look at Kazakhstan’s History: a Guide for the Future >>

Melodies and Songs of the Kazakh Steppes

First ever concerts of Kazakh traditional and classical music in the United States of America

February 1-3, 2005
Industrial and Innovation Strategy:
New Business Opportunities

September 8-9, 2005
San Diego, CA
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Some useful links:

Official bodies:
Central Election Commission
Official Site of the President
Government of Kazakhstan
Parliament of Kazakhstan
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Internal Affairs
National Security Committee

Candidates &
Political Parties:
Ak Zhol
Alikhan Baimenov
Zharmakhan Tuyakbai

Int'l Organizations:

International Media Center
Argumenty i Fakty Kazakhstan
Delovaya Nedelya
Kazakhstan Today
Kazakhstanskaya Pravda
Kazinform News Agency
Khabar TV
Komsomolskaya Pravda KZ
Novoe Pokolenie
Nazarbayev Reelected President in a Landslide

Nursultan Nazarbayev cruised to a reelection for a new seven-year term in the December 4th election receiving the support of more than 90 percent of those who voted. More than three fourths of registered voters exercised their right to vote and cast ballots on Election Day which went in a mostly calm and amicable atmosphere.

Onalsyn Zhumabekov, Chairman of Kazakhstan’s Central Election Commission, declared the election valid and announced the preliminary results at a Monday morning press conference in Astana.

He said Mr. Nazarbayev received 6,100,694 votes cast, or 91.01 percent; Zharmakhan Tuyakbai of For a Fair Kazakhstan movement came second with 445,047 votes, or 6.64 percent, while Alikhan Baimenov of the Ak Zhol Democratic Party was third with 1.65 percent. Yerassyl Abylkassymov finished fourth with 0.38 percent, while Mels Yeleusizov of the Tabigat (Nature) environmental movement was fifth with 0.32 percent.

More than three fourths of registered voters in Kazakhstan turned out at polling stations on December 4 to cast their ballot. Out of a total of 8,874,968 voters in voter lists, 6,850,000, or more than 77 percent, voted. Slightly less than 400,000 people, or 13.80 % of those who voted, chose to do it through the Sailau electronic system, while almost 3,000,000, or 35 percent, had such an option.

The election was observed by 11,086 trustees of candidates for president, more than 1,000 observers from foreign countries, international organizations and foreign reporters, 16,458 observers from political parties, 5,652 observers from public associations,and 500 Kazakh reporters.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as observers from other international organizations and foreign countries are expected to issue their preliminary reports on the conduct of the election later on Monday.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev waves after leaving a polling station in the capital Astana, Sunday, Dec.4, 2005. (AP photo)