PACE Mission: Voting results in Kazakhstan reflect voters' will (UPDATE)
Details added after the fourth paragraph (the first version was posted at 12:12)
Kazakhstan, Astana, April 4/ Trend, A. Maratov /
The results of the presidential elections in Kazakhstan reflect the Kazakh citizens' will, the Observation Mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) believes.
"The delegation agrees that despite some shortcomings that inevitably arise during elections in any country, the results of this voting really reflects the Kazakh voters' will," the delegation head Yulia Levochkina said at a press briefing on Monday.
All the main observation missions give preliminary assessment on the voting on Monday. The elections were observed by 1,059 observers accredited to the country, as well as by over 250 foreign journalists.
According to the CEC's preliminary information, the incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev leads with 95.5 percent of the votes. According to Kazakh legislation, the final voting results should be summed up no later than April 12.
Levochkina stressed proper organization and voting-conduct, as well as a calm and businesslike atmosphere. She said that balanced media coverage of the pre-election period, as well as a campaign of broader voter information outreach, also deserves a positive assessment from PACE.
It is not the first time when PACE observes the electoral process in Kazakhstan, and this time the country's progress from one election to the next was noted.
At the same time, however, PACE revealed several violations, including unequal electoral conditions and some political forces' appeals to boycott the elections that led to a narrowing of election for the electorate. Levochkina said the electorate emphasizes the need to create a strong opposition in Kazakhstan.
PACE stands ready to assist further development of Kazakhstan's political culture, she said. This will help the emergence of a wider choice of political platforms.
"Despite the moderate progress as compared with previous elections, Kazakhstan should deeply improve some conditions to gain a genuine democracy status", Levochkina said.