Statement on Elections in Kazakhstan

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly to the Permanent Council

Vienna, January 19, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States notes with concern that the preliminary assessments by the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe found that a variety of issues caused the January 15 elections in Kazakhstan to fall short of the international standards to which Kazakhstan has committed itself.  We reiterate our strong support for the OSCE’s objective election observation mechanisms, both ODIHR’s and the PA’s, which serve a valuable role in promoting democratic institutions, and help us all live up to our commitments.

The United States looks forward to engaging with the new multi-party Parliament as we continue our cooperation with the government and people of Kazakhstan to implement our broad-ranging strategic partnership. We recognize the government’s stated ambition to improve the political climate and to conduct more inclusive and transparent elections in line with both its international commitments and the aspirations of the Kazakhstani people.  In addition to improving the transparency of operations on Election Day, we hope that the Government of Kazakhstan follows through on its stated goal of strengthening the overall conditions necessary for genuine political pluralism.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.