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Kazakh Opposition: Election Results Falsified

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev 23 September 2004 -- Kazakhstan's opposition political party Ak Zhol (Bright Path) complained today that results released from last Sunday's elections to the lower house of parliament were "crude falsifications."

Ak Zhol was the only opposition party to win any of the 77 seats available in the elections. The party won one seat, awarded on the basis of party lists.

Ak Zhol co-chairman Bolat Abilov said the party should have received 40 to 50 percent of the votes in the election.

Central Election Commission Chairwoman Zagipa Baliyeva announced today that the pro-presidential party Otan (Fatherland) took over 60 percent of the party list vote, Ak Zhol 12 percent, another pro-presidential party Asar (All Together, headed by Nazarbaev's eldest daughter) 11 percent, and the election bloc the Agrarian-Industrial Union of Workers 7 percent. The commission, which took four days to announce the results, said there will be runoff elections for 22 additional seats.

Opposition parties have said they will refuse to accept the election results alleging there was widespread fraud. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United States have both said Kazakhstan failed to meet its promise of running a free and fair election.


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