The European Union takes note of the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions issued by the International Election Observation Mission 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.