On Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan: Statement to the PC

The United States concurs with the preliminary findings of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission on the April 26 presidential elections in Kazakhstan, which concluded that, “preparations for the 26 April election were efficiently administered, however, necessary reforms for holding genuine democratic elections still have yet to materialize.”

The lack of a genuine political opposition limited voter choice in the election, and a restrictive media environment limited public debate and the exercise of freedom of expression. The lack of a credible opposition challenges the development of political pluralism, which is an OSCE commitment. While election day generally proceeded in an orderly manner, observer access was restricted, and serious procedural irregularities were noted throughout the voting, counting and tabulation processes.

We urge Kazakhstan to take advantage of OSCE assistance to further its electoral and democratic reform process.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna