Brussels, 21/03/2016
160321_06_en
STATEMENT

Statement by the Spokesperson on the Parliamentary Elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan

The European Union takes note of the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions issued by the International Election Observation Mission[1] to the early parliamentary elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan, held on 20 March 2016.

According to the Preliminary Findings and Conclusions, Kazakhstan still has a considerable way to go in meeting its OSCE/ODIHR commitments for democratic elections. The Statement highlights that a comprehensive reform of the current legal framework is required, as it restricts fundamental civil and political rights, and that serious procedural errors and irregularities were noted during voting, counting and tabulation. The Preliminary Findings and Conclusions found positive developments regarding the inclusivity of candidate registration, that six parties contended the elections and that candidates were able to campaign freely.

It is important that the Central Election Commission is preparing a comprehensive proposal of amendments to the Election Law to be considered in 2017 with a view to addressing previous OSCE/ODIHR recommendations. The European Union remains ready to assist the Kazakh authorities in addressing these recommendations, in the spirit of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed in Astana in December 2015.



[1] This Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions is the result of a common endeavour involving the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).