Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev wins in landslide reelection
Kazakhstan`s president Nursultan Nazarbayev has been reelected to office with an overwhelming 95.5 percent of the vote, officials said citing preliminary results, according to RIA Novosti.
The country`s Central Election Committee said none of three other candidates was given more than 2 percent in Sunday`s elections.
Opponents complained of the lack of transparency and media freedom in the run-up to the election.
Pro-Nazarbayev Senator Gani Kasymov secured 1.9 percent, communist Zhambyl Akhmetbekov - 1.4 percent, and environmentalist Mels Yeleusizov - 1.2 percent.
Nazarbayev, 70, has been running the oil-rich country since the late Soviet period. The parliament has amended the country`s constitution to allow the former Communist Party boss to run for reelection indefinitely.
His current term was to have expired in 2012, but he called an early poll after rejecting a planned referendum to extend his presidency until 2020.
The delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said the vote "reflected the will of the people," a sentiment echoed by candidate Yeleusizov, who said the figure of 95.5 percent "reflects the country`s real political situation."
Yeleusizov said he cast his ballot for Nazarbayev, who described the result as a "sensation."
"More than 90 percent for a candidate, that is for me - why, this is a sensation for western countries," Nazarbayev said at a forum of his supporters on Monday. At the previous polls in 2005, Nazarbayev won with a landslide 91.2 percent.
He said the vote determined the unity of the Kazakh people.
"We are a growing state," he said, adding: "We are a democratic Kazakhstan."