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Kazakhstanis urged to take active part in elections

22 april 2015, 19:10
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©Turar Kazangapov
©Turar Kazangapov

Chairman of the National Commission for Control over Elections Nurlan Yerimbetov has urged Kazakhstanis to take an active part in the upcoming elections in Kazakhstan that will be held on April 26, Tengrinews reports. He also spoke about the reasons why Kazakhstanis arrive late to their voting stations and what consequences a low voter turnout can produce.

“Our opponents and friends can interpret the absence of voters in different ways. I urge our citizens to be very punctual. There is another situation, which can be described as a political infantilism. Some people don't go to the elections altogether. ‘Vote without me, elections can be held without me’, they say. To address this, we must conduct a good promotion campaign,” Nurlan Yerimbetov said during a round table meeting entitled Modern Elections Techniques: Experience and Practice.

He admitted he was concerned about the turnout of voters like many other people. When speaking about this, he recalled one case from his life, when one of the international observers began to think of Kazakhstanis as being apolitical. “Many years ago, when I worked in the region, someone called me from a polling station and said that one of the observers was calling someone and saying ‘the elections were not held, voters did not come, the elections failed’. It was 10 a.m. in the morning. It turned out he did not know that Kazakhs wake up late on Sundays, they must first drink some tea, visit their children, feed their livestock and get dressed in their best clothes, because it is a holiday. When he saw a one kilometer-long queue near the polling stating at around 6 p.m., he called the same person and apologized. He also apologized to our local people for not understanding our mentality,” Nurlan Yerimbetov said adding that international observers should take into account Kazakhstanis’ mentality.

When speaking about the work of observers during the upcoming elections, he emphasized that the main task was not to record violations, but to prevent them. “I really want us to have more young people among observers, because these are the people, who are not biased toward any specific political environment they are used to. These are the people who are straightforward, who have their own opinion," Nurlan Yerimbetov concluded.

The participants of the meeting also noted that Kazakhstan was not the only country holding elections in 2015. “If we look at April alone, seven countries are holding elections, either presidential or parliamentary. It shows that today the current agenda requires a more intensive exploration of all these processes that are taking place on the geopolitical scale and at the time of crisis. In this environment, Kazakhstan conducts policies openly and consistently, ensuring a democratic election process,” Director of the National Institution Kogamdyk Kelisim ("Public Consent") Natalya Kalashnikova said.

Reporting by Assel Satayeva, writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina


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