NUR-SULTAN – The parliamentary election for the Majilis (a lower house of the Kazakh Parliament) and the Maslikhats (local representative bodies) has begun in the country on Jan.10.
According to the Central Election Commission, more than 10,000 polling stations are opened in 14 regions and three cities of national significance – Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent. Polling stations are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. without breaks.
Some 66 polling stations are also open in 53 countries for Kazakh citizens who are staying abroad.
Some 11.8 million voters were registered in the country as of Oct.1, 2020.
The authorities took all reasonable measures amid the pandemic. COVID-19 testing was organized for the members of the commission, observers and other staff. Medical workers and volunteers are on duty. Masks and gloves are also provided at the polling stations.
This year, five political parties are competing for seats. Together they are the Nur Otan ruling party, People’s Party of Kazakhstan, Auyl (Village) democratic patriotic party, Ak Zhol (White Way), and Adal (Faithful) parties.
Overall, 312 candidates including 90 women have been nominated by their parties. The average age of the candidates is 46.7. The youngest candidate is 25. The party lists 34 Majilis deputies of the sixth convocation.
It is expected that 98 deputies will be elected from party lists. Nine deputies will be elected by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan on Jan.11.
The Central Election Commission has accredited 398 foreign observers. The list includes 322 observers from ten international organizations and 76 from 31 foreign countries.