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U.S. Urges Kazakh Vote Transparency

Veteran Kazakh ruler Nursultan Nazarbaev's Nur Otan party will again dominate parliament.
The United States has acknowledged the assessment by outside observers that Kazakhstan’s parliamentary elections fell short of international democratic standards.

The written statement from the U.S. State Department came after the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the January 15 elections "did not meet fundamental principles of democratic elections," and that opposition parties had been blocked from running in the polls.

The U.S. statement urged the Kazakh government to improve the transparency of elections, and to follow through on strengthening the conditions necessary for genuine political pluralism.

Kazakh electoral authorities said three parties won entry into the new parliament – the Nur Otan party of longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarvbaev, which won more than 80 percent of the vote, and the pro-business Aq Zhol party and the Communist People's Party, which each got more than 7 percent.

compiled from agency reports