EU sees “significant irregularities” in Kazakh pres. election

BRUSSELS, The EU said Monday the recent presidential election in Kazakhstan were “tarnished by clear violations of fundamental freedoms, as well as pressure on critical voices.

“There were widespread detentions of peaceful protesters on election day,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, in a statement.

“Overall, international election observers recognized that elections were administered efficiently by the Central Electoral Commission,” Kocijancic noted.

However, significant irregularities were observed across the country, including cases of ballot box stuffing, group voting and series of identical signatures on voter lists, she added.

“The count was also negatively assessed in more than half of observations,” said the EU.

The statement also said the EU is looking forward to working with the new President, as well as to advance EU-Kazakhstan relations more broadly.

The snap election was called after the unexpected resignation last March of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, 78, who had led the country since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the upper house speaker who became acting president, was voted into his first term as President in Sunday’s election.

Source: Kuwait News Agency