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Senate elections in Kazakhstan to be held soon

Kazakhstan Senate ©Turar Kazangapov Kazakhstan Senate ©Turar Kazangapov

Kazakhstan has on average four persons competing for one seat in the Senate. And in some of the Central Asian country's regions where six candidates competing for a place in the Parliament’s upper house, Tengrinews reports citing the chairman of the Central Election Commission Kuandyk Turgankulov.

"An average competition for a seat is over four people. We have the lowest number of contestants in two Oblasts, where three persons are competing for a seat, and the most intense competition is in three Oblasts with six bidders per seat in each," Turgankulov said.

He informed that 72 citizens had put forward their candidacy as of August 4. All of them exercised their right for self-nomination. There are only four women are among the nominees. Most of the candidates -- 33 of them, which constitutes 45 percent of the total pool -- are between the age of 45 and 55.. The nomination window is going to remain open until the end of August.

136 million tenge ($750 thousand) was allocated for the Senate elections. The election campaigns are financed from two sources - the state budget and donations from businesses and individuals.

The state budget pays for each candidate’s 15-minute TV address (115 thousand tenge, approx. $630), 10 minutes on the radio (60 thousand tenge, approx. $330), 2 articles in the media (105 thousand tenge, approx. $580), hall rent for meeting with the voters (20 thousand tenge, approx. $110), publication of printed campaign materials (25 thousand tenge, approx. $140) and traveling (for Oblasts - 70 thousand tenge, approx. $380; for Astana and Almaty cities - 35 thousand tenge, approx. $190). This sums up to 395 thousand tenge ($2,170) per a candidate, which should cover the minimum needs of a campaign.

Funds from the second source will total at approximately 14 million tenge ($76,920). Candidates have the right to use these funds to strengthen their campaign work.

The Senate elections in Kazakhstan are scheduled for October 1st. The nomination process started on 2 August and is taking place during sessions of maslikhats (local representative bodies) of Astana and Almaty cities, 14 Oblasts of Kazakhstan, and other cities and districts thought self-nomination.

Kazakhstan has 47 senators, of whom 15 are appointed by the president and 32 are elected by maslikhats (2 persons from each of 14 Oblasts, and from Astana and Almaty cities). Senators are elected for a term of 6 years. Every three years, half of the senators are reelected. So, the October 1 Senate election also have 16 seats up for taking.

Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Dinara Urazova

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