24 May 2011

Nazarbayev Wins 95% of Vote; Election Monitors Point to Ballot Stuffing

Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been the President of Kazakhstan since the 1980s, won re-election this Sunday with over 95% of the vote and a voter-turnout rate of more than 90%. International election monitors, such as the OSCE, however, deemed the election to be full of voter intimidation and ballot-stuffing.

Daan Everts, the head of the OSCE’s long-term observation mission stated that We have regrettably to conclude that the elections were not as good as we hoped and expected, as the mission received multiple reports of ballot-stuffing and voter intimidation. Potential voters were furthermore intimidated to vote, which could explain the extremely high voter turnout.

Nazarbayev has claimed in the past that Kazakhstan was a good example of a country where economic reforms could take place before full-blown democracy, as the Central Asian state of just over 16 million has benefitted from large oil reserves and hundred of millions of dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the recent past.

For the original article from Macleans.ca, please click here. Further information was gleaned from the Sun Sentinel and the OSCE‘s website.

The campaign picture shown above comes courtesy of the AFP.