ASTANA, 26 January 2001 - On 25 January the second "Round Table on Elections" took place in Astana, Kazakhstan under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The aim of the "Round Table" process is to discuss ways and means of implementing the recommendations contained in the OSCE/ODIHR Final Report on the October 1999 Parliamentary Elections in Kazakhstan.
This event conducted in collaboration with the Government of Kazakhstan, including the Central Election Commission (CEC), brought together representatives of the Parliament, various government ministries and agencies, and civil society, including those political parties not represented in the Parliament.
The 25 January Round Table focused on the independence of election commissions, transparency of vote count and tabulation procedures, and all other election procedures. Participants voiced concrete recommendations on the following:
- increasing representation of political parties in the CEC and all other election commissions;
- enhancing the rights of observers; and
- limiting interference by executive authorities in the electoral process.
Participants also spoke of the need to increase the number of deputies elected by party list in order to stimulate development of parties. Representatives of the ODIHR presented reports on election legislation and best practice.
The participants agreed to develop a working document that will summarize all proposals into a table that will be updated throughout the Round Table process by the expanded "Government Working Group on Improving Election Legislation" (GWG) formed during the first "Round Table on Elections" in September 2000. This working document will be handed over to the Parliament for consideration in September 2001.
The Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Ihor Ostash, moderated the Round Table, a joint effort of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and the OSCE Centre in Almaty. The Deputy Speaker of the Senate of Kazakhstan Mr. Baigeldi, and the Chair of the CEC Mrs. Balieva, headed the Government of Kazakhstan delegation to the talks. Representatives of international organizations active in the field of elections and representatives of Embassies accredited in Kazakhstan participated in the Round Table as observers.
For more information contact, please contact the OSCE Centre in Almaty, tel.: (+7-3272) 62 17 62, fax: (+7-3272) 62 43 85, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org