ASTANA – The Central Election Commission (CEC) approved the timeline of events for the deputy elections to the Mazhilis (the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament) and the maslikhats (local administrative bodies) scheduled for March 19 during its Jan. 20 meeting.
The candidates’ registration begins on Jan. 20 and ends at 6 p.m. local time on Feb. 18.
Following registration, the election campaign will run until midnight on March 18. The following day, March 18, is a day of silence. The CEC will have ten days following the election on March 19 to announce the results.
The commission also announced the requirements for candidates.
To be eligible to run for the Mazhilis seat, a candidate must hold Kazakhstan citizenship, be at least 25 years old, and should also have lived in Kazakhstan for the past ten years. A candidate for the maslikhat seat must have Kazakhstan citizenship, live in the region the candidate wants to represent and be at least 20.
International observers will be invited to Kazakhstan to meet international obligations to ensure openness and transparency during the electoral campaign, said CEC Secretary Mukhtar Yerman.
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 March 13 this year.
The upcoming Mazhilis election will implement the amendments to the Constitution that were adopted as a result of the national referendum that took place on June 5.
One of the major changes includes transitioning the Mazhilis to a mixed proportional-majoritarian model, where 70 percent of deputies will be elected proportionally from party lists, and 30 percent by majoritarian rule from single-member districts.
The elections to the maslikhats of districts and cities of national importance will also be held under a mixed electoral system, with a 50/50 ratio.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced early elections to the Mazhilis and maslikhats on March 19, after he dissolved the chamber and terminated the powers of the maslikhats, the local administrative bodies, on Jan. 19.
Tokayev proposed holding elections to the Mazhilis and maslikhats in his state-of-the-nation address on Sept. 1 last year.