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Kazakh President: One Party Parliament is 'No Tragedy'


Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev says a new parliament consisting of one political party is not a tragedy.

Preliminary election results from Saturday's poll showed the ruling Nur Otan party winning 88 percent of the vote and all 98 contested parliament seats, depriving the opposition of its one seat in parliament.

Kazakhstan's opposition parties say they will not recognize the outcome of the elections.

Mr. Nazarbayev said that it was unfortunate that other parties were unable to pass the seven percent barrier needed to win seats.

The Kazakh leader spoke Monday at a meeting of the Assembly of Kazakh Peoples during a largely ceremonial gathering to select nine parliamentary representatives for the country's ethnic minorities.

International observers say parliamentary elections failed to meet international standards because of a lack of transparency during the vote count and tough requirements for opposition parties to win a seat in parliament.

The former Soviet republic has never held a vote that was internationally recognized as free and fair.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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