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21 September 2004 -- The party of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev is claiming victory in the parliamentary elections held on 19 September.
Amangeldy Ermegiyaev of the president's Otan (Fatherland) party claimed today that Otan won "a decisive victory" and "confirmed that this is the party of the people."
Official results have not been announced, but early electronic tallies showed the Otan party with 43 percent of the vote. The Asar (All Together) party of Nazarbaev's daughter Dariga, a political ally of the president's party, appeared to be in second place with 19 percent.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe have declared that the balloting fell short of democratic standards and criticized irregularities and confusion due to the new electronic counting system.
Kazakh Information Minister Altynbek Sarsenbaev, a co-chairman of the opposition Ak Zhol (White Path) party, resigned yesterday, saying the poll was neither fair, honest, nor free.
[For analysis, news, and background on the Kazakh elections, see RFE/RL's "Kazakhstan Votes 2004"