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Kazakh Opposition Threatens Election Boycott

21 July 2004 -- Leading Kazakh opposition parties today threatened to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections if the government fails to allow all parties to compete on equal terms.

The Ak Zhol, Democratic Choice, and Communist parties released a statement saying they reserve the right to boycott the elections if authorities interfere in the voting and vote-counting process or break any election procedures.

They also called on the government to reverse its decision to introduce an electronic voting system for the September polls, saying it would allow authorities to manipulate votes.

Yesterday, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev met with provincial governors and promised that the upcoming elections will be a free, fair, and fully transparent process.