ASTANA – The Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan (CEC) is conducting a large-scale outreach campaign to reach each and every citizen of the country during the presidential election campaign.
During the month-long campaign, the three candidates and members of the election headquarters have travelled across the country, meeting voters and spreading their messages through media, booklets, election rallies and advertising billboards.
The capital’s akimat organised a telephone hotline for citizens to find information about their polling stations, and citizens have been bombarded with SMS messages urging them to exercise their right and vote this Sunday.
Short promotional videos that are being transferred by smartphone mobile applications have become popular among citizens. A video called “I am Kazakhstani” has become a hit in particular. There are also some fun videos oriented toward young people, including one called “It is Your Choice.”
According to past research, election turnouts are usually lower in the outlying regions than in big cities. Usually, the most active voters are pensioners. This time, more than 9 million citizens are registered to vote.
New Ipsos MORI research shows that an overwhelming majority of Kazakh adults (89 percent) believe that generally things in the country are moving in the right direction. Nearly eight out of ten (79 percent) agreed that Kazakhstan is ready to hold the presidential election on April 26.
The National Public Commission to Monitor Elections in Kazakhstan (ROKKV), which started its activities on March 3, is also working actively. Its main objective is to promote transparency in the election at all stages and protect the constitutional rights of voters and candidates. The group is made up of prominent public figures, scholars, experts and journalists. It was active in the presidential campaigns of 2005 and 2011 and the parliamentary elections of 2007 and 2012.
Three candidates are standing in the April 26 election: Turgun Syzdykov of the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan, who is running on a platform of combating ‘decadent Western values;’ self-nominated Abelgazy Kussainov, who is using his campaign to draw attention to environmental issues; and incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev.