ASTANA – The nomination of candidates for the presidential elections scheduled for Nov. 20 begins in Kazakhstan today, Sept. 23, and will end at 6 p.m. local Astana time on Oct. 11, according to Kazakhstan’s Central Election Commission (CEC).
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a decree on Sept. 21 calling for early presidential elections. According to Tokayev, the presidential election on Nov. 20 will kick off an electoral cycle that will completely transform the country’s political system.
From Sept. 23 to Oct. 21, the candidates’ compliance with the requirements of the Constitution and the constitutional law on elections will be determined, and signatures will be collected and verified.
To be eligible to run for the presidential office, a candidate must have Kazakhstan citizenship by birth, live in Kazakhstan for the past 15 years, have a higher education, be at least 40 years old, and have a minimum of five years of experience working in public service or elected positions, as well as fluency in the state language (Kazakh).
According to CEC, the right to nominate presidential candidates, according to paragraph 1 of Article 55 of the Constitutional Law on elections, belongs to the national public associations registered in the prescribed manner.
The electoral fee for candidates is three million tenge (US$6,241). They also must collect 118,000 signatures.
“The amount of the election fee for today is three million tenge, which is 50 minimum wages. The election fee is returned to the candidate if he or she is elected to office or gains at least 5 percent of the votes of all those who take part in the voting,” said CEC Deputy Chair Konstantin Petrov.
Once candidates are approved, election campaigning will last for 28 days – from 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 18.
Nov. 19 will be a day of silence when the law explicitly bans campaigning and electioneering one day prior to the election.
Citizens will go to the polls on Nov. 20 to choose their next President. According to CEC, the counting of votes and preliminary results will be on Nov. 21-22, while the announcement of the results and the registration of the elected President will take place by Nov. 27.
International observers will be invited to Kazakhstan to meet international obligations to ensure openness and transparency during the presidential electoral campaign, said CEC Chair Nurlan Abdirov at a Sept. 22 CEC meeting in Astana.
The meeting participants addressed the activities of observers from foreign states, international organizations, and representatives of foreign media, among other issues.
According to CEC member Mukhtar Yerman, an observer from a foreign state, international organization, as well as foreign media representative may be accompanied by one interpreter upon presentation of an identity document of the latter. A representative of foreign media may observe elections if he or she has an accreditation certificate issued by the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Accreditation of observers of foreign states and international organizations ends at 6 p.m. Astana time on Nov. 14 this year.