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Kazakhstan Holds Run-Off Polls In Disputed Election

3 October 2004 -- Kazakhstan today held run-off polls in a parliamentary election that has been criticized by the West.

The elections to the lower house of parliament are taking place in 22 constituencies where no single candidate won a majority during a 19 September first round.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticized the September polls, saying the Kazakh election commission functioned in an "arbitrary, selective, and nontransparent manner."

Opposition parties have accused authorities of rigging the September poll, in which Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev's Otan party claimed victory.