ASTANA – A total 54.19 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballots in the parliamentary election in Kazakhstan as of 10 p.m. Astana time, as polling stations closed at 8 p.m. nationwide, announced Central Election Commission (CEC) Deputy Chairman Konstantin Petrov during a press briefing today.
Voting ended at 9 p.m. local Astana time in the regions of Aktobe, Atyrau, West Kazakhstan, Kyzylorda and Mangystau due to time difference.
Over 6.5 million Kazakh citizens out of more than 12 million eligible voters cast their ballots at 10,223 polling stations across Kazakhstan.
Turnouts vary across the country, with the Kyzylorda Region leading with 67.21 percent. The lowest turnout was recorded in the city of Almaty, with 25.82 percent, a trend that the city has shown in almost all previous elections.
Only a few regions passed the 60 percent threshold, including the Zhambyl Region at 65.23 percent, the Kostanai Region at 65.1 percent, the North Kazakhstan Region at 65.25 percent, and the East Kazakhstan Region at 64.15 percent.
A total of 42.41 percent of eligible voters exercised their right in Astana, the country’s capital, while in Shymkent, another city of national significance, voter turnout reached 45.46 percent.
“CEC has now concluded informing citizens about the voter turnout. We plan to tabulate the final election results tomorrow. The exact time will be announced tomorrow,” Petrov said.
Voting is still continuing in 44 polling stations at Kazakhstan’s diplomatic and consular missions abroad. As of 7 p.m. Astana time, the voter turnout abroad was 41.8 percent, with 5,071 people out of 12,016 registered voters casting their ballot, according to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry.
Seven political parties competed in the election, including two new parties, Baytaq and Respublica, which were able to register before the election due to simplified party registration procedures.
281 candidates from seven party lists competed for 69 seats in the Mazhilis, in addition to hundreds of candidates in 29 single-mandate constituencies, mostly self-nominated.
In total, 793 international observers from 41 foreign states and 12 international organizations monitored the election.
Exit polls are expected at midnight on March 20.