Deputy Ambassador Brown welcomes ODIHR’s report and Kazakhstan’s engagement, as the country continues its programme of reforms.

Deirdre Brown MBE

The United Kingdom welcomes the fair, balanced, and well-evidenced preliminary report issued by ODIHR on the Majilis elections, which took place on 19 March. As the report notes, these elections were the next step in the important process of political reform set out by President Tokayev after the tragic events of January 2022. We welcome this process of reform and the increased choice for voters, as well as the implementation of previous recommendations made by ODIHR. We equally support ODIHR’s recommendations for further reform, which are required if parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan are to be aligned in all areas with international standards of democratic governance.

We note ODIHR’s findings around the protection of fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly, particularly around developing a more open, analytical and investigative approach by broadcast media, and the holding of public events, both of which should aid voter awareness and understanding. We also note ODIHR’s recommendation on the importance of securing transparency in the counting and tabulation process, where observers reported incidents of procedural irregularities and a disregard for safeguards. The publication of disaggregated data for the turnout and results of individual polling stations would be a welcome step in demonstrating transparency.

The United Kingdom thanks the observation mission and encourages Kazakhstan to consider these constructive recommendations as it continues on its path of legislative, political and economic reform. As our Foreign Secretary made clear in his visit to Astana on 18 March, the United Kingdom remains committed to supporting Kazakhstan in these efforts, fundamental to further reinforcing Kazakhstan’s long-term security and prosperity and meeting the aspirations of its people. In this regard, we strongly welcome President Tokayev’s speech to the new Majilis on 29 March, where he again reinforced his commitment to working together with the Majilis to continue political and institutional reform, strengthen human rights protections, and build a diverse, open, and competitive economy.

Published 31 March 2023