Open and transparent elections are an important element of democratization that help to increase trust in the political system. The Centre in Astana therefore works closely with Kazakhstan's Central Election Commission, political parties and civil society representatives to promote OSCE standards in this field.
In 2001-2002, the Centre initiated a series of roundtable discussions on electoral legislation reform, with the aim of improving the legislation and thereby promoting public trust in the political and electoral system. Representatives of state structures, the parliament, political parties, civil society, and OSCE institutions took part in the series of thematic workshops. Following the conclusion of this process, the participants submitted a comprehensive package of proposals on amending and improving the electoral law. The Kazakhstani government published the first draft of the amendments to the electoral law in July 2003 and the second draft on September 2003. The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) reviewed the national election legislation in September 2003 and August 2004, providing recommendations for further improvement of the electoral system.
The Centre continues to support co-operation between the ODIHR and the Central Election Commission on reforming election legislation in accordance with the 2004 assessment of the election law and the recommendations of the 2005 Election Observation Mission's Final Report, as well as broader OSCE standards and commitments in the field of elections.
In the run-up to the 2005 presidential election, the Centre supported training courses on electoral education and civic awareness, especially among school teachers and young voters. The Centre is not involved in election monitoring, since this is the mandate of the ODIHR, which dispatches Election Observation Missions to monitor the polling.