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Over 40% vote in presidential elections in Kazakhstan before noon

©Turar Kazangapov ©Turar Kazangapov

41.69 percent of all the voters in Kazakhstan have cast their ballots by noon in the April 26 presidential elections, Tengrinews reports citing a member of the Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan Tatyana Okhlopkova who presented the updated voter turnout.

The layout of the voters region-wise was as follows:

Akmola Oblast – 51.01% have voted before noon
Aktobe Oblast – 36.11%
Almaty Oblast 60.68%
Atyrau Oblast – 47.54%
Eastern-Kazakhstan Oblast – 48.24%
Zhambyl Oblast – 49. 91%
Western-Kazakhstan Oblast –40.66%
Karaganda Oblast – 43.35%
Kostanai Oblast – 56.57%
Kyzylorda Oblast – 45.56%
Mangistau Oblast – 34.12%
Pavlodar Oblast – 42.63%
Northern-Kazakhstan Oblast – 50.11%
Southern-Kazakhstan Oblast –32.62%
Astana – 25.46%
Almaty – 17.25%

By 10 a.m. Astana time 19.17% of all the voters in Kazakhstan have cast their votes, according to the member of the Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan Lyazzat Suleimen. She confirmed that in the first three hours of the voting 19.17% of the registered votes picked up their ballots.

Voter turnout by 10 a.m. was highest in Kostanai oblast in Kazakhstan’s north.

The layout of the early morning voters region-wise was as follows:

Akmola Oblast – 23.8% have voted before 10 a.m.
Aktobe Oblast – 16.08%
Almaty Oblast 26.10%
Atyrau Oblast – 11.13%
Eastern-Kazakhstan Oblast – 27.31%
Zhambyl Oblast – 21. 69%
Western-Kazakhstan Oblast –12.11%
Karaganda Oblast – 21.06%
Kostanai Oblast – 27.61%
Kyzylorda Oblast – 22.03%
Mangistau Oblast – 16.92%
Pavlodar Oblast – 21.32%
Northern-Kazakhstan Oblast – 26.45%
Southern-Kazakhstan Oblast – 13.89%
Astana – 12.92%
Almaty – 8.33%

The voting started at 7 a.m. Astana time at the total of 9741 polling stations. This number includes 65 polling stations at Kazakhstan’s representative offices in foreign countries.

The polling stations will remain open until 8 p.m. Astana time. In Kazakhstan’s western regions – Aktobe Oblast, Atyrau Oblast, Wesetern-Kazakhstan Oblast, Mangistau Oblast - that has a one hour time difference, the voting will continue until 9 p.m. Astana time. Polling stations in Washington, New York, Ottawa, will close at 6 a.m. on April 27 Astana time.

There are three presidential candidates that voters can give their votes to in this election: incumbent president Nursultan Nazarbayev, candidate from the Communist Party of Kazakhstan Turgun Syzdykov and self-nominee Abelgazi Kusainov. All three candidates have already voted.

To become presidential candidates and start campaigning the three had to successfully pass a Kazakh language exam and collect enough signatures of their supporters. Fielding of candidates started on February 26 and ended on March 15 and saw a total of 27 applications submitted.

“The presidential election is an important political event for our country. Responsible government agencies have taken all the required actions to organize, technically and financially support the elections. All the required documents, regulatory acts and manuals were prepared on time. All the election commissions are fully ready to manage the voting and count the votes. Members of the Central Election Commission took a special training course,” Secretary of the Central Election Commission Bakhyt Meldeshov told the journalists.
“In its activities the Central Election Commission will be fully adherent to openness and interaction with all the organizations interested in ensuring strict compliance of the elections process with the election law,” the continued.

No serious violations of the election process have been registered so far.

Secretary of the Central Election Commission Bakhyt Meldeshov said: “The voting is proceeding transparently, fairly, openly, with no violations, in a calm formal setting and in accordance with the election law.”
Observers enjoy full access for monitoring of the election process at all its stages, he said, addint that over 1000 international observers and representatives of international news outlets are observing the April 26 elections in Kazakhstan. Besides, there are election agents of candidates at almost every polling station – a total of 30 thousand agents.

The Central Election Commission accredited a total of 858 observers. 293 are representatives of OSCE/ODIHR mission, 410 are from CIS, 10 are from SCO, 15 are from the Cooperation Council of the Turkic Speaking States, 11 are from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic Speaking Countries, 3 are from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and 116 observers are from 37 foreign countries.
Kazakhstan’s Foreign ministry accredited 168 foreign media representatives from 37 countries.

“No serious violations have taken place. (…) We have been ensuring a round the clock security of all the polling stations since the moment ballots were brought in. Interior ministry’s staff collects and immediately addresses all the applications and complains related to the election legislation violations,”

First Vice-Minister of Interior Affairs Marat Demeuov talked the journalists at the press-briefing today.
Police started guarding the polling stations on April 22 and will remain there until April 28, he said.

By Tatyana Kuzmina (Assel Satayeva and Renat Tashkinbayev contributed to the story)

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