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Dates of election / renewal (from/to):
  19 September 2004
  19 September 2004
Purpose of elections:
  Elections were held for all seats in the Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
Background and outcome of elections:
  Elections for all the members of the Mazhilis, the lower house of Parliament, were held on 19 September 2004.

Some 623 candidates competed for the 77 seats. Sixty-seven seats were decided by contests in single-member constituencies, while 10 seats were awarded according to party lists. Twelve parties presented candidates, with nine of these broadly regarded as pro-government.

In addition to the long-dominant Otan, President Nursultan Nazarbaev's party, the election featured a party called Asar created 10 months before by Ms. Dariga Nazarbayeva, the President's elder daughter. The opinion polls indicated that these were the two leading parties while the moderate opposition party Ak Zhol, considered the leading opposition party, was expected to take third in the elections.

During the electoral campaign, the Otan party claimed success for the country's economic boom in recent years with President Nazarbayev urging voters to choose stability over - what he called - the opposition's "empty promises" of redistributing the country's massive oil wealth. The opposition said more of the country's 15 million people could be benefiting from the oil riches, instead of "these going to a narrow circle of government officials and oligarchs". In 2002, the United Nations had reported that nearly one-fourth of the population lived in absolute poverty.

More than 1,000 international observers from 44 countries were in the country to monitor the elections. The Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was represented by 297 observers. This organisation declared that the run-up to the vote had been marred by many irregularities. In its report the OSCE said that the two leading parties had dominated campaign advertising and also raised the controversial issue of electronic voting. Its report also criticised preparation for the vote, noting that a State Commission on electronic voting required by law had not yet been formed. This was the first time that voters in some districts were casting votes electronically and observers said they feared the potential for widespread fraud if proper guarantees were not in place.

Media monitoring conducted by the non-governmental organization "Elections and Democracy" showed that there were reports of widespread media bias despite regulations meant to ensure equal media access. The report showed that pro-presidential parties had increasingly dominated television news coverage of the campaign while opposition candidates struggled to gain access to the airwaves.

Some 30,000 policemen were deployed to keep the peace during the polling day. No violence was reported.

Almost nine of Kazakhstan's 15 million population were eligible to elect deputies and more than 53 per cent cast votes.

The final report presented by the OSCE after the elections said that these had "fallen short of OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections". The organisation declared, nevertheless, that it had noted some improvements: no media outlets were shut down or journalists imprisoned. Among the irregularities it had seen that local government officials and the bosses of teachers, doctors, and other state employees had exercised "considerable pressure" on voters.
Information Minister Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly, the only member of the government formed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev linked to an opposition party, resigned in protest at what he said was a rigged poll.

On 23 September 2004, Kazakhstan's Central Election Commission announced that the pro-presidential Otan party had garnered 60 per cent of the vote. It had obtained seven of the ten seats distributed by party slates, while the Asar party, the pro-presidential AIST bloc of the Civic and Agrarian Parties, and the opposition party Ak Zhol received one seat each. Among 67 single-mandate constituencies, 45 races produced first-round winners. Otan won 27 seats, AIST 9, and Asar two, while seven independents also emerged as winners.

On 2 October 2004, a second round was held in 22 constituencies where no single candidate had previously won a majority. Three days later, on 5 October 2004 the Central Election Commission announced the final results. Otan won 42 of the 77 seats in Parliament, followed by the election bloc AIST which took 11 seats. The Asar party came in third with four seats and the opposition Ak Zhol party and pro-presidential Democratic Party of Kazakhstan each claimed one seat. Independent candidates accounted for the remaining 18 seats.
Round no 1 (19 September 2004): Election results
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
Round no 1: Distribution of votes
Political Group Candidates Votes %  
Republican Party Otan (Fatherland)  
AIST Bloc  
Asar Party  
Democratic Party of Kazakhstan  
Ak Zhol  
Round no 1: Distribution of seats
Political Group Total Proportional Majority
Republican Party Otan (Fatherland) 42 7 35
Independents 18 18
AIST Bloc 11 1 11
Asar Party 4 1 3
Democratic Party of Kazakhstan 1 1
Ak Zhol 1 1
The AIST Bloc is formed by Civic and Agrarian Parties

Source: RFE/RL
Distribution of seats according to sex:
Men: 69
Women: 8
Percent of women: 10.39
Distribution of seats according to age:
Distribution of seats according to profession:


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