Background Reports on Kazakhstan Available

Washington, D.C.

In advance of Kazakhstan’s upcoming parliamentary elections on August 18, Freedom House is making available its annual reports on the state of democratic development in Kazakhstan.

Nations in Transit, Freedom House’s annual survey of democratization from Central Europe to Eurasia, notes that “none of the presidential or parliamentary elections held in Kazakhstan so far have been recognized as ‘free and fair’ or meeting international standards.”

Freedom House’s annual survey of political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World, points out that “opposition parties, which have complained of harassment, surveillance, denial of access to the state-run media, and arbitrary bans on registering candidates, faced mounting pressures and attacks leading up to the December 2005 presidential election.” President Nursultan Nazarbayev was credited with 91 percent of the vote in that election.

The elections on August 18 are being held within the context of a bid by the Kazakh government for the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Kazakhstan ranks as Not Free in Freedom in the World. The country received a 6 (on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the lowest) for political rights, and a 5 for civil liberties.  The country also ranks Not Free in Freedom of the Press, Freedom House’s annual survey of global media independence.

Freedom House Director of Studies, Christopher Walker, is available for comment at (212) 514-8040 x 19.

For more information on Kazakhstan, visit:

Freedom in the World 2007: Kazakhstan
Nations in Transit 2007: Kazakhstan
Freedom of the Press 2007: Kazakhstan
Countries at the Crossroads 2006: Kazakhstan

Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world, has been monitoring political rights and civil liberties in Kazakhstan since its independence in 1991.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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