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Tuesday 12 January 2021

Nine Members of Assembly of People of Kazakhstan Elected to Enter Parliament


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NUR-SULTAN / ex ASTANA — Nine deputies of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, an advisory body representing the country’s major ethnic groups, were elected Monday to become lawmakers in the Majilis, the lower house of the Kazakh parliament.

Kazakhstan held parliamentary elections on Sunday. The lower house of the parliament consists of 107 deputies who serve a five-year term. Among them, 98 are elected directly from party lists, while the remaining nine are elected by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan.

After casting his ballot at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in the capital Nur-Sultan (ex Astana), Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev said over the last 25 years, the assembly has been a unique institution to strengthen inter-ethnic relations and foster trust and unity in the country.

Nazarbayev stressed that one of the most important tasks for the assembly’s deputy group is to provide legislative support for the consolidation of the Kazakh society:

This year we got into difficult conditions due to the pandemic, but this is not the first crisis that Kazakhstan has ever faced. I think we will also overcome it together with you.

Due largely to its location in the middle of Central Asia, Kazakhstan has been the crossroads for a great number of refugees fleeing ethnic conflicts in other parts of the world. However, ethnic Kazakhs comprise the majority of the population. As of 2018, they are 67.5% of the population.

Some 37% of Kazakhstanis identify with a minority ethnicity. Roughly 24% of Kazakhstanis identify as ethnically Russian/Ukrainian, and this community has had a large impact. In fact, Russian is upheld in Kazakhstan as the official language of “interethnic communication”. A wide array of other groups represented, including Uzbeks, Germans, Tatars, Uyghurs, Koreans, and Meskhetian Turks.

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