Kazakhstan Election 2012: Venal’s View

17 Jan

Kazaxia has received the following contribution from Britain’s Lord Venal, who was recently in Kazakhstan to observe the parliamentary elections.

I’ve just returned to Venal Towers after another successful observation trip to Kazakhstan (kindly subsidised by Kleptys Oil and Gas (KOG)) and I’d like to share my positive feelings that the election has left me with.

First off I’d like to offer my hearty congratulations to Kazakhstan as it enters an exciting new phase of multi-party democracy. The election itself was very well-managed and went off without a hitch in this vast country that straddles both Europe and Asia.

It was an early start on the Sunday as I was ferried to the nearest polling station from my diggings at the splendid Rixos Hotel. Polling was sluggish in the morning session, but that came as no surprise to me as Sundays are always slow to get off the ground in the Venal household. By the time my minder from KOG suggested a spot of lunch at 12.30 turnout was a somewhat low 6.9%.

After a splendid lunch – hospitality is something that Kazakhstan excels at – I was feeling a bit woozy so I retired to my suite for a quick power snooze. By the time I got back to the polling station at 18.30 there had been a surge in voter activity and the turnout stood at an impressive 79.1%.

The last 90 minutes of voting passed by quickly as we cracked open a few bottles of bubbly to celebrate a good day’s work. Then it was off to the KOG post-election party at a secret location where representatives of Kazakhstan’s high and mighty were schmoozed until the early hours.

When one has been observing elections as long as I have, one sometimes thinks that one has seen it all, but this election threw up a few surprises even for me. As I mentioned in my earlier report from the Presidential election last April, Kazakhstan has a splendid tradition of giving presents to senior citizens and first-time voters – take note Britain!

Some other innovations that could well prove popular in Britain included ‘carousel voting’ where the voters are taken by mini bus to different polling stations and ‘family voting‘ where a representative votes for all the family members.

My only regret is that the next elections in Kazakhstan will not be until 2016. But with KOG’s new contacts made at the post-election bash, I’m sure I will be visiting these shores again in the not too distant future.

(Editor’s note: Lord Venal is a contributor to this blog and his views are not necessarily those of Kazaxia) 

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