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Polls Close In Kazakhstan

Opposition candidate Alikhan Baimenov voting today in Almaty (RFE/RL) 4 December 2005 -- Polling stations have closed in today's presidential election in Kazakhstan, in which incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbaev is widely expected to win a new seven-year term.

In the capital Astana, Nazarbaev said after casting his ballot that this year's election is being held in "unprecedented democratic conditions."

However, opposition candidate Zharmakhan Tuyakbai told RFE/RL in the southeastern city of Almaty that there had been early signs of fraud. "Since early morning, we have received information from different regions that there have been many irregularities during voting and attempts to rig the elections," he said.

Another opposition challenger, Alikhan Baimenov, also said he had information about irregularities coming from polling stations in the regions.

The Central Election Commission said nearly 70 percent of eligible voters had cast their ballots two hours before the polls closed.

Early results are expected on 5 December.

(with news agencies)

The Voting In Images

The Voting In Images

Workers at Almaty polling station No. 310 registering election monitors prior to the opening of voting on December 4

To see more images collected by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service during the voting on December 4, click here.

RFE/RL's complete coverage and background of Kazakhstan's presidential election on December 4, 2005.