European Council on International
Relations

EUROPEAN UNION CONSIDERS KAZAKHSTAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS AS FREE AND DEMOCRATIC

The EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS decided on 10 April 2011 to endorse the Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania Final  Monitoring Report on Kazakhstan Presidential Elections as an EUROPEAN DOCUMENT representing the opinion of European Council on International Relations on Kazakhstan Presidential Elections on 3 April 2011.

You can read this EUROPEAN DOCUMENT here: 

 

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea - President of European Council on International Relations presenting the Final Report on Kazakhstan Presidential Election on 12 April 2011 in a duplex ceremony in Bucharest and Brussels .  

 

 

Final Report of Monitoring Mission of Early Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan. 3 April 2011

 

Main information`s regarding Kazakhstan Presidential Poll – April 2011

 

 Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, announced on 4 February 2011 the start of early presidential election for 3 April 2011. This decision followed a citizens’ initiative for a referendum which would have extended president’s term in office until 2020.

 

• Four candidates will contest the election, out of 22 initial self- appointees.

A number of opposition parties and leaders decided not to participate and/or called for a boycott, claiming the absence of conditions for a meaningful election and a short time for campaigning as the key reasons.

 

The Commission put in place by Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan finds this claims to be unfounded as the date of elections was announced in the same manner and made publicly available for all contenders, also the election law and all relevant prescription are applying equally to all participants in the 3 of April Presidential race.

A special date, set specially to accommodate some opposition party and candidates will be unfair and must be rejected as unfounded claim.  

 

 

• The Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation  Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan was especially satisfied with the introduction of the mandatory Kazakh-language test for presidential candidate.

 

Such a transparent method to select on educational and necessary language knowledge the candidates was considered as relevant and pertinent and the Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan will support the introduction of such mandatory examination in electoral legislation of OSCE and European Union members’ state.

 

• The Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan salutes the amendments to Election Law, amendments that where enforced 2009 and February 2011.  These amendments reflected previous concern and recommendations previously offered by Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania and the legal framework is satisfactory insuring free, open and democratic elections with inclusive citizen, mass media and civil society participation.  

 • The election in Kazakhstan are under the administration of the Central Election Commission (CEC), 16 Territorial Election Commissions (TEC), 207 District and Town Election Commissions (DEC) and some 9,725 Precinct Election Commissions (PEC).

 The CEC is active in making preparations for this election and training lower-level commissions. 

The Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan finds that the correct representation of political parties in election commissions is observed and the equal based representation of political parties, interested citizens and observers in these commissions is respected.

 

• The number of registered voters is around 9.1 million. Voters are able to check their records in the voter list, including by e-mail.

 

• The official campaign began on 3 March.

 

•  The Commission of  Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation  for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan observes that the media operate in an open and fair environment and the necessary legal provisions to insure transparent information`s and  mass media freedom are respected

 

Especially we emphasized that, in order to insure fairness and openness in the mass media coverage for all participants in the electoral process, the Election Law provides candidates with direct media access through state funded and paid airtime and print space. 

His Excellency President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, on 4 February 2011 signed a decree for an early presidential election to take place on 3 April.

Following an invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan   started his work. 

 

I.                  MISSION PRESENTATION

 

In response to an invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the  Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation observed the 3 April 2011  Presidential election.

 

The  International Relations and Economic Cooperation assessed the election in terms of  the compliance with domestic legislation, the 1990 O.S.C.E. Copenhagen Document and other international standards for democratic elections.

 

The 3 April 2011 Presidential election was the third multi-candidate election in the Republic of Kazakhstan since independence in 1991.

 

A number of four candidates were registered through a process which inclusive and provided voters with an opportunity for choice and offer the possibility for a meaningful competition whereby all candidates could enjoy equal opportunities to convey their views to the electorate. 

This open and free elections where in conformity with 4 February 2011 Decree for an early presidential election instructing various State authorities to ensure free, fair and competitive elections.  

The election process was administered according to Constitution, the Constitutional Provisions on Elections (Election Law), and decisions and regulations of the CEC.

Other relevant elections laws and regulations are, among others Law on Political Parties, Criminal Code, Administrative Offences Code, Civil Procedure Code and Law on Peaceful Assemblies.

 

The Constitution guarantees the fundamental civil and political rights necessary to conduct of democratic elections. 

The CEC administered the election in a transparent manner during the pre-election period. 

The CEC met regularly in open sessions and adopted several decisions aimed at improving the electoral process.

 The CEC also conducted a large-scale voter education campaign, with a focus on electronic voting (e-voting).

The positive step of publishing polling-station level results on its website

Overall, the administration of this election in the pre-election period and the election meet the Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation criteria’s   and other international standards for democratic elections.

 

The authorities of Kazakhstan did succeed in fully fulfill their obligations regarding international provisions for free and open elections.

 

The Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation remains committed to support and in the future the efforts and endeavors of the authorities and civil society of Republic of Kazakhstan to conduct elections in line with Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation criteria’s and international recognized values.

 

 

II.               HISTORICAL INFORMATION`S

 

The 3 April 2011 Kazakhstan Presidential Election was the third multi-candidate election in the Republic of Kazakhstan since independence in 1991.

 

The call for presidential election comes in the aftermath of a citizens’ initiative to hold a referendum which would have extended the term of incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev until 2020 an initiative that was supported by Kazakhstan Parliament. 

Between 26 December 2010 and 14 January 2011, over five million signatures were reportedly collected in favor of the referendum.

On 7 January, the President of Kazakhstan has rejected parliament’s call to hold the referendum, but on 14 January the Parliament adopted the law on changes to the Constitution, providing the basis for holding a referendum to extend the first president’s term of office. 

The President expressed his concern over the constitutionality of these proposed amendments and referred them to the Constitutional Council, which ruled

On 31 January that the law was unconstitutional as it was too vague on the terms of extension.

Following this ruling, the President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed that new and early presidential election be held. On 3 February, parliament adopted the constitutional amendments to allow the president to call an early presidential poll and the next day, President Nursultan Nazarbayev set the final election date for 3 April 2011.

 

Conclusions:  The Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan   conclude that the call for early elections comes from a genuine democratic desire to refer to the people the fundamental governmental decision.

 

During this process president Nazarbayev prove to respect democratic mechanism and separation of powers in the state and we specially appreciate the submitting of contentious law to the Constitutional Court.

In conclusion Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan  considers that the election where called on an democratic manner ,respecting the political and state laws and mechanism and are fulfilling the necessary democratic credentials .

 

 

A.   ELECTION SYSTEM IN KAZAKHSTAN.

The legal elections framework includes such acts as:  the Constitution, the Constitutional Provisions on Elections (Election Law), and decisions and regulations of the CEC. 

Other relevant elections laws and regulations are, among others Law on Political Parties, Criminal Code, Administrative Offences Code, Civil Procedure Code and Law on Peaceful Assemblies. 

The Constitution guarantees fundamental civil and political rights necessary to conduct of democratic elections.

 

B.   ELECTION SUPERVISION

 

The election is administered by complex and inter-responsibility system of election commissions comprising the CEC, 16 TEC units, 2 207 DEC units, and 9,725 PEC units.

The election commissions have seven members composition and are appointed for a period of five years; TEC units, DEC units and PEC units are only active during election periods. 

The CEC chair and two members are appointed by the president, while the Senate and the Madjilis (the lower house of parliament) appoint two CEC members each. TEC, DEC and PEC members are appointed by the respective mashlikhate (local councils), based on proposals of political parties. 

The CEC is supervising the electoral preparations, it holds regular sessions open to the public and attended by media and observers, and provides weekly press briefings, and maintains an information internet channel.

The CEC has fulfilled his tasks such as carrying out extensive training of lower-level commissions and provided instructions and manuals for TEC, DEC and PEC members.

The CEC is also conducting a comprehensive voter education campaign.

                                                    

C.   THE MASS MEDIA SITUATION

                                                                                   

The Kazakhstan Constitution is clearly prohibits censorship and guarantees freedom of speech and the right to freely receive and disseminate information by any means not prohibited by law.

We specially draw attention to Article 27.7 of Election Law that obliges media to provide “unbiased” coverage of the election campaign of candidates and political parties.

 

The Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan is satisfied by the law provision that is insuring the fairness of mass media coverage to all participants and also with the CEC and the Ministry of Information and Communication information’s that state-owned and commercial media outlets are obliged to cover the candidates in the news for the same length of time and with the same tone.

 

D.   PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTIONS OF WOMEN AND NATIONAL MINORITIES

 

The Institute of international Relations and Economic Cooperation  Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan is satisfied with the Constitution and Election Law that are providing the basis for equal participation of women and men in the electoral process.

 

 

 CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT

 

The election campaign provided voters with a choice there was no limitation to the ability of candidates to freely express their political positions.

 

GENERAL CAMPAIGN ENVIRONMENT 

XI. DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS 

The Election Law provides an adequate framework for election observation by domestic nonpartisan observers, and party and candidate representatives. A number of domestic election observation groups observed the presidential election.

The legislation of Kazakhstan provides for international observation of its elections. 

 

XIV. ELECTION DAY

 

A. VOTING

Opening of polling stations took place without significant difficulties,voting was conducted in a generally calm atmosphere. 

In some cases, voters who had previously checked that their names were on the voter list found were missing on Election Day. 

Procedures for mobile voting were not always followed, and secrecy of the vote in the mobile voting process was very rarely lacking. 

 

B. COUNTING

The assessment of voting was overall very positive, despite small irregularities and procedural problems observed, the process was also open and transparent during the counting and tabulation processes.

 

C. TABULATION OF RESULTS

The tabulation of results was assessed as correct and transparent.  

 

FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

A.   Regulations regarding campaign funding should be reviewed in order to introduce only a state funded support to allow for adequate campaigning and to introduce transparency and oversight in campaign funding, including publication of campaign financial reports.

B.   To extend in future electoral competition the examination of the Presidential candidates not only in fundamental knowledge of Kazakh language but also in history and civilization of Kazakhstan . It is incomprehensible   that the leaders of a country are unfamiliar with the history and civilizations values of their people and country.

C.   The examination of presidential candidates for Kazakh language tests must be conducted in public , with the presence of mass media .

 

D.   Mass media (private or state funded) should be under scrutiny of a Permanent Commission during elections in order to allow a permanent control regarding an ethic conduct and the equal treatment of all candidates.

 

E.    Steps should be taken to increase the information`s regarding the electoral behavior of the elector`s in the area of polling stations .A special campaign by all media it is necessary to raise voters awareness on vote methods and on voting behavior. The realization of a handbook manual for voters must be a priority for next elections. 

FINAL CONCLUSIONS:

 Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation considers satisfactory the efforts of Kazakhstan Government for insuring an open and fair climate, with equal opportunities for all candidates and with mass media and international observers’ presence and considers that pre-election process in accordance with international law and elections provisions and the democratic nature of the process is self evident.  

 

The Election Process was on all his duration and in all his faze in conformity with international standards , international accepted norms and Copenhagen Criteria and is recognizing the April 3 Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan as free , fair , open and in complying with democratic values and criteria’s.      

 

      EUROPEAN UNION SUPPORT FOR KAZAKHSTAN                             PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 

The EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS decided on 29 March 2011 to endorse the Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania Monitoring Report on Kazakhstan Presidential Elections as an EUROPEAN DOCUMENT representing the opinion of European Council on International Relations on Kazakhstan Presidential Elections on 3 April 2011.

You can read this EUROPEAN DOCUMENT here:  

 

 

Preliminary Report of Monitoring Mission of Early Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan. 3 April 2011

28 February 2011 – 28 March 2011 

 

Main information`s regarding Kazakhstan Presidential Poll – April 2011

 

 Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, announced on 4 February 2011 the start of early presidential election for 3 April 2011. This decision followed a citizens’ initiative for a referendum which would have extended president’s term in office until 2020. 

                       

• Four candidates will contest the election, out of 22 initial self- appointees.

A number of opposition parties and leaders decided not to participate and/or called for a boycott, claiming the absence of conditions for a meaningful election and a short time for campaigning as the key reasons.

 

The Commission put in place by Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan finds this claims to be unfounded as the date of elections was announced in the same manner and made publicly available for all contenders, also the election law and all relevant prescription are applying equally to all participants in the 3 of April Presidential race.

A special date, set specially to accommodate some opposition party and candidates will be unfair and must be rejected as unfounded claim.  

 

 

• The Commission of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan was especially satisfied with the introduction of the mandatory Kazakh-language test for presidential candidate.

 

Such a transparent method to select on educational and necessary language knowledge the candidates was considered as relevant and pertinent and the Commission of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan will support the introduction of such mandatory examination in electoral legislation of OSCE and European Union members’ state.

 

• The Commission of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan salutes the amendments to Election Law, amendments that where enforced 2009 and February 2011.  These amendments reflected previous concern and recommendations previously offered by Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania and the legal framework is satisfactory insuring free, open and democratic elections with inclusive citizen, mass media and civil society participation.  

 

• The election in Kazakhstan are under the administration of the Central Election Commission (CEC), 16 Territorial Election Commissions (TEC), 207 District and Town Election Commissions (DEC) and some 9,725 Precinct Election Commissions (PEC).

 The CEC is active in making preparations for this election and training lower-level commissions.

 

The Commission of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan finds that the correct representation of political parties in election commissions is observed and the equal based representation of political parties, interested citizens and observers in these commissions is respected.

 

• The number of registered voters is around 9.1 million. Voters are able to check their records in the voter list, including by e-mail. 

                          

• The official campaign began on 3 March.

 

•  The Commission of  Institute of international Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan observes that the media operate in an open and fair environment and the necessary legal provisions to insure transparent information`s and  mass media freedom are respected

 

Especially we emphasized that, in order to insure fairness and openness in the mass media coverage for all participants in the electoral process, the Election Law provides candidates with direct media access through state funded and paid airtime and print space.

 

 His Excellency President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, on 4 February 2011 signed a decree for an early presidential election to take place on 3 April.

Following an invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Commission of Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan   started his work.

 

 A.   BRIEF HISTORY

  

The call for presidential election comes in the aftermath of a citizens’ initiative to hold a referendum which would have extended the term of incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev until 2020 an initiative that was supported by Kazakhstan Parliament.

Between 26 December 2010 and 14 January 2011, over five million signatures were reportedly collected in favor of the referendum.

On 7 January, the President of Kazakhstan has rejected parliament’s call to hold the referendum, but on 14 January the Parliament adopted the law on changes to the Constitution, providing the basis for holding a referendum to extend the first president’s term of office.

The President expressed his concern over the constitutionality of these proposed amendments and referred them to the Constitutional Council, which ruled

On 31 January that the law was unconstitutional as it was too vague on the terms of extension.

Following this ruling, the President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed that new and early presidential election be held. On 3 February, parliament adopted the constitutional amendments to allow the president to call an early presidential poll and the next day, President Nursultan Nazarbayev set the final election date for 3 April 2011.

 

Conclusions:  The Commission of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan   conclude that the call for early elections comes from a genuine democratic desire to refer to the people the fundamental governmental decision. During this process president Nazarbayev prove to respect democratic mechanism and separation of powers in the state and we specially appreciate the submitting of contentious law to the Constitutional Court.

In conclusion the Commission of  Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan  considers that the election where called on an democratic manner ,respecting the political and state laws and mechanism and are fulfilling the necessary democratic credentials .

 

 

B.   ELECTION SYSTEM IN KAZAKHSTAN.

  

The legal elections framework includes such acts as:  the Constitution, the Constitutional Provisions on Elections (Election Law), and decisions and regulations of the CEC.

Other relevant elections laws and regulations are, among others Law on Political Parties, Criminal Code, Administrative Offences Code, Civil Procedure Code and

 Law on Peaceful Assemblies.

The Constitution guarantees fundamental civil and political rights necessary to conduct of democratic elections.

 

C.   ELECTION SUPERVISION

 

The election is administered by complex and inter-responsibility system of election commissions comprising the CEC, 16 TEC units, 2 207 DEC units, and 9,725 PEC units.

The local election commissions have a seven members composition and are appointed for a period of five years; TEC units, DEC units and PEC units are only active during election periods.

The CEC chair office and two members are appointed by the president, while the Senate and the Madjilis (the lower house of Parliament) appoint two CEC members each. TEC, DEC and PEC members are appointed by the respective mashlikhate (local councils), based on proposals of registered political parties.

 

The CEC mission  is to  supervise  the electoral preparations, it holds regular sessions open to the public and attended by media and observers, and provides weekly press briefings, and maintains an information internet channel.

The CEC has fulfilled his tasks such as carrying out extensive training of lower-level commissions and provided instructions and manuals for TEC, DEC and PEC members.

The CEC is also conducting a comprehensive voter education campaign.

 

D.   THE MASS MEDIA SITUATION

                                                                                   

The Kazakhstan Constitution is clearly prohibits censorship and guarantees freedom of speech and the right to freely receive and disseminate information by any means not prohibited by law.

We specially draw attention to Article 27.7 of Election Law that obliges media to provide “unbiased” coverage of the election campaign of candidates and political parties.

The Commission of  Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan is satisfied by the law provision that is insuring the fairness of mass media coverage to all participants and also with the CEC and the Ministry of Information and Communication information’s that state-owned and commercial media outlets are obliged to cover the candidates in the news for the same length of time and with the same tone.

 

E.   PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTIONS OF WOMEN AND NATIONAL MINORITIES

 

The Commission of Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan is satisfied with the Constitution and Election Law that are providing the basis for equal participation of women and men in the electoral process.

                                                           

 

F.    CONCLUSIONS

 

Taking in the consideration these preliminary findings, the Commission of Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan supports the decision to send an Electoral Observers Team in Kazakhstan on short time supervision for the election period.

 

The Commission of  Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan considers satisfactory the efforts of Kazakhstan Government for insuring an open and fair climate , with equal opportunities for all candidates and with mass media and international and domestic observers presence .

 

The  Commission of  Institute of  International Relations and Economic Cooperation for preparing the Monitoring Mission in Republic of Kazakhstan  considers that preliminary measures are in accordance with international law and elections provisions and the democratic nature of Kazakhstan electoral process is self evident.  

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