MOSCOW – An international election observation group says there were irregularities in Kazakhstan's parliamentary elections, which affirmed the ruling party's grip on power.
Exit polls show President Nursultan Nazarvayev's political party Nur Otan won a sweeping — and unsurprising — victory with around 80 percent of the popular vote.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's special coordinator for election observation in Kazakhstan, Geir Joergen Bekkevold, told reporters on Monday that international observers, who were allowed unfettered access, observed ballot-box stuffing and other irregularities.
The vote comes amid a collapse in Kazakhstan's economic fortunes caused by the falling price for oil, its main export commodity. Inflation is around 15 percent and the currency has lost 30 percent of its value.