Free & Fair

by Nathan Hamm on 9/15/2004

I officially reserve judgment, but will at least pass on this item.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has instructed officials to ensure that the upcoming parliamentary polls are free and fair, his political secretary, Ermukhamet Yertysabayev, said.

Kazakhstan’s opposition parties had earlier this week alleged that the Sept. 19 polls would not be above board.

“The president has issued instructions to the akims (governors) to make sure the polls are free and fair,” Yertysabayev told a group of foreign journalists invited by the Senate.

He admitted the last elections were widely flawed. “We have had serious elections violations in the past, but we are very confident of out polling arrangements this year,” he said.

Sending a strong warning to the state officials, Yertysabayev said that any poll code violation by officials is punishable under the law.

I don’t have much of an opinion of the trustworthiness of Kazakhstan’s executive, but I guess this is at least somewhat encouraging.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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