Over 40 percent of voters vote in Kazakhstan for 5 hours
Over 40 percent of voters voted in Kazakhstan by 12:00 local time (10:00 Moscow time), a member of the Central Election Commission Lyazzat Suleiman said at a press-briefing on Sunday, RIA Novosti reported.
Besides the incumbent president, Communist Zhambyl Ahmetbekov, leader of the Patriots Party, Senator Gani Kasimov and Tabiyat Ecological Union leader Mels Eleusizov participate in the snap presidential elections.
There is no item "against all" in the voting paper."The CEC representatives stressed the high turnout. It is confirmed by the figures from the regions," she said. At present, roughly 3.699.000 people or 40.3 percent voted."
Polling stations are open from 7:00 a.m. to 20:00 p.m. on the Kazakhstan time. The authorities promise the most transparent elections in history.
A total of 1,059 accredited observers will be monitoring the elections in the country. The most numerous mission will be from the CIS (425) and the OSCE/ODIHR (357 people). Over 250 foreign journalists monitor the elections.
According to experts, the acting head of state will easily win the election. 70-year-old Nazarbayev has been in power for over 20 years, and according to opinion polls, is supported by about 90 percent of the population.
The legislation in Kazakhstan does not provide turnout threshold. Elections will be held for any number of voters. However, the voter turnout is an important factor in the election's legitimacy.
Presidential elections in Kazakhstan are characterized by high turnout. About 76.79 percent of voters participated in the last presidential elections in 2005.
The CEC will announce the preliminary results of the elections in the first half of April 4.