Kazakhstan's ruling party dominates election

Kazakhstan's ruling party Nur Otan has won a landslide victory in the country's parliamentary elections, with 88% of the vote. None of the other six parties managed to win a 7% share needed to claim parliamentary seats and have questioned the results.

Previous elections in Kazakhstan were seen as unfair by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The country's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been in power for 18 years, wants to change that view around, as he's keen to see his country lead the OSCE in 2009.
The early elections were called for by the country's parliament following constitutional changes that gave it more power. The new political system is meant to signal a greater commitment to democracy.
“For the first time we're raising the role of the political parties. In these conditions the elected MPs must adopt laws that would promote the nationhood, peace, consent, prosperity and better life conditions for all the people of Kazakhstan,” stated Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan.
In the new election system 98 MPs are chosen on a party basis, while nine more are selected by a special body to secure seats for the country's ethnic minorities.

Russian observers say the election process has been held within the law.
“There have been no serious violations on the part of the authorities. All the election laws and remarks are strictly followed through,” commented Vladimir Pekhtin, vice-speaker of the Russian State Duma.
Many say the landslide wasn't unexpected as the ruling party has presided over a booming economy.
The government was concerned about voter apathy but 64% of voters are said to have turned out – a record number for the country.