Kazakhstan criticizes OSCE’s “lack of objectivity” in election analysis

Astana, Nov 21 (EFE).- Kazakhstan on Monday criticized the “lack of objectivity” of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observer mission in its preliminary conclusions on Sunday’s early presidential elections, which said that it underlined the lack of pluralism and competitiveness.

“The statement on the preliminary conclusions of the observation mission (…) lacks objectivity and puts in question the effectiveness of the ODIHR as an important institution that up to this day has had the support of our republic,” the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said.

Astana believes that the report contains a set of “typical OSCE/ODIHR biased conclusions, demonstrating a complete unwillingness to recognize the development of the internal situation” in Kazakhstan.

“In the activities of the OSCE/ODIHR observation team and its leadership was clearly seen the mistrust in the reforms carried out by the President of Kazakhstan, aimed at transforming the country and turning it into an advanced society based on the rule of law,” the ministry said.

The Kazakh government considers that the OSCE conclusions contain “unsubstantiated and unconfirmed allegations” and contradict the analyses of other missions of accredited international organizations that also observed the elections.

“The content of the OSCE/ODIHR’s statement demonstrates a lack of desire to develop long-term and constructive cooperation with Kazakhstan authorities, which will, undoubtedly, be taken into account,” Astana warned.

The ODIHR said Monday that the elections took place in a “political environment lacking competitiveness,” and stressed the need to adapt legislation to ensure “genuine pluralism.”

“A lack of pluralism played a significant role in undermining competitiveness in this election, and limitations on free speech and a lack of opportunity to conduct peaceful assemblies narrowed the space for critical voices,” said Urszula Gacek, head of the ODIHR mission.

President Tokayev ran for re-election as a “joint candidate of all parliamentary parties and, in fact, did not receive any significant challenge in a low-intensity campaign,” the organization added.

“The ability of citizens to participate fully in political life remains significantly constrained, including by limitations on fundamental freedoms,” the OSCE stressed.

Observers found that while the voting process was calm and procedures were generally followed, errors and omissions occurred during the counting that undermined its transparency.

Tokayev won Sunday’s elections with 81.31% of the votes, according to the preliminary results of the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC). EFE


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