Statement regarding the early elections to the Majilis of the RoK Parliament and the regular elections of members of the RoK Maslikhats, 15 January 2012 (17/01/2012)
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The Public Foundation “Republic-wide Network of Independent Monitors” (“RNIM”), which mission is to monitor elections and referendums of all levels in Kazakhstan, has conducted a long-term and short-term monitoring over the early elections to the Majilis of the RoK Parliament and the regular elections of members of the RoK Maslikhats that took place on 15 January 2012. The main direction of independent monitoring is to monitor the election procedure, to ascertain facts and violations that threaten the fairness and honesty of the elections, as well as to prevent violations. The main principle of independent monitoring is an objective assessment and analysis of the entire election process. The Public Foundation “RNIM” has not given either direct or indirect support to and does not oppose any candidates or political parties that participate in the elections.
- To enhance public confidence in elections;
- To promote openness and visibility of the election process;
- To ascertain and analyze violations;
- To prevent violations at all stages of the election process;
- To develop recommendations on how to improve the legislation on elections and the election process.
On 15 January 2012, the Public Foundation “RNIM” conducted a short-term monitoring at 2,000 polling stations in 10 regions of Kazakhstan and in three cities (Astana, Almaty and Ridder). To train monitors, more than 80 training courses were conducted for staff at the central and regional offices, as well as for lawyers of the Public Foundation “RNIM”. In total, more than 2,000 independent monitors had been trained.
Monitoring on the day of elections consists of two main parts: preliminary monitoring at polling stations on the day right before the day of voting, and monitoring on the day of voting. The preliminary monitoring is, first of all, aimed at checking whether polling stations and precinct election commissions are ready for the day of elections.
On the whole, the day of elections passed in a calm environment without any serious threats to the security of people. The degree of readiness of the precinct election commissions was quite high, though there were some instances when the polling stations had been prepared at the very last moment, one day before the elections. The polling stations were sufficiently equipped to comply with all necessary procedures. The lists of voters were accessible at the majority of precinct election commissions, however some commissions still failed to make these lists available to those who would like to review them, including monitors.
Notwithstanding the above, in the course of monitoring on the day of elections the monitors reported multiple violations that cast doubts on the honesty and accuracy of the voting results.
In particular, during the day of voting, according to the monitors’ reports, there were some cases of the following:
- Ballot stuffing.
- Multiple voting a la “merry-go-around”.
- Family voting.
- Abnormally high number of applications for voting at home.
- Restrictions on monitors’ movements within the polling station.
- Lack of a good view from the places given to the monitors.
- Abnormally high turnout.
- Refusal to give the final protocols (minutes).
- Violation of the secrecy of the voting ballot.
It is also of a concern that the law-enforcement authorities did not act promptly in discovering the instances of gross violations during the day of elections that were reported in the Internet and websites of mass media. In particular, the www.azattyq.org website placed a video of an open stuffing of a stack of ballots in the ballot box, however, during the day there were no reports that this incident was investigated in order to find the guilty ones.
In connection with the above, the RoK Central Election Commission and the RoK General Prosecutor’s Office must ensure an effective investigation of all instances when the election legislation was violated.
For more detailed information, please contact Ms Natalya Kolpakova, Projects Director at the Public Foundation “RNIM”, at phone/fax: +7 (727) 2725-357, email: email@example.com