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Cooperation btw Kazakhstan and ODIHR in electoral field debated

13 April 2022 21:14

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFROM - The importance of further strengthening cooperation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in the electoral field was noted today at the meeting of Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko with an ODIHR expert group, Kazinform cites the Kazakh MFA.

The delegation led by Deputy Head of ODIHR Election Department Mr. Ulvi Akhundlu has been in Kazakhstan on a three-day visit to present the ODIHR Limited Election Observation Mission’s final report on parliamentary elections to the Majilis (January 10, 2021) and discuss the Office’s recommendations with Kazakh experts with a view of their practical implementation. A previous visit of such kind to discuss ODIHR recommendations with Kazakh state bodies took place in 2009.

During the meeting at the ministry, the ODIHR representatives informed about the results of their visit, noting useful meetings with the Central Election Commission and other concerned state organs in Kazakhstan.

«Kazakhstan welcomes a constructive dialogue with the ODIHR not only during, but also before and after the electoral cycle,» Mr. Vassilenko stated.

In turn, Mr. Akhundlu noted «the ODIHR delegation is sincerely grateful to the MFA of Kazakhstan for organising such a visit and an opportunity to openly, specifically and professionally discuss recommendations of our experts with the Kazakh partners.»

The deputy minister informed interlocutors about the reforms initiated by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in order to build a «New Kazakhstan». Among reforms proposed by the head of state several were specifically highlighted including lowering the threshold for registering political parties and their election into the Majilis, suspending party membership by the President and members of the Central Election Commission for their term of office, transitioning from a proportional electoral system to a mixed proportional and majoritarian electoral system for forming the Majilis, as well as the transfer of the quota of MPs for the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan from the Majilis to the Senate, which would make the lower house fully directly electable by the people.

Having noted Kazakhstan’s strong commitment to consistent democratisation and transformation of the political system, the interlocutors agreed on the importance of further enhancing expert interaction with ODIHR in the electoral field.

Kazakhstan and the ODIHR have a long history of cooperation, starting from the first ODIHR mission on December 9, 1995. Since that time, the Office together with other European institutions (EP, PACE, OSCE PA) has sent 12 observation missions to Kazakhstan, which resulted in exchange of expert opinions and recommendations to the government of Kazakhstan on improving the legislation and the legal practice.

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