Domestic Policy | Elections & Political Reforms

Past Elections

Majilis is the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament consisting of 107 deputies who are elected for a five-year term. The upper house is the Senate of Kazakhstan, with 47 members. Members of the Senate are elected on the basis of indirect suffrage by secret ballot, and half of the elected members are up for election every three years.

The previous elections for the Majilis were held in March 2016. Six political parties participated in the elections and three of them, Nur Otan (82.2%), Ak Zhol Democratic Party of Kazakhstan (7.18%), the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan (7.14%), won the right to send their deputies to the chamber.

Parliamentary Elections 2021

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has signed a decree scheduling the parliamentary elections for the Majilis for 10 January 2021. The elections are seen as another step in the process of “controlled democratisation” of the former Soviet republic.


Presidential Election 2019

Then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced on March 19, 2019 that he would step down from office and initiate a constitutional transition of the executive branch. Interim-President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev immediately called for an early election to put the decision of Kazakhstan’s future president to the people.

The election was significant for many reason. Firstly, seven candidates from a diverse slate of political parties campaigned for the post, including the first female presidential candiate affirming to many that the presidency is within reach of all citizens.

The Kazakh people on June 9, 2019 elected Kassym-Jomart Tokayev with 70.76% of the popular vote. Tokayev was one of seven candidates running in the election.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) accredited 1,013 international observers, including 866 from nine international organisations and 147 from 41 foreign countries.

The OSCE sent 339 observers including 290 ODIHR-deployed experts, long-term and short-term observers and 49 OSCE-PA parliamentarians and staff.


Parliamentary Elections 2016

On March 20, 2016, Kazakhs went to the polls to elect a new Mazhilis - lower chamber of Parliament.  234 candidates campaigned for the 98 seats. Voter turnout was reported to be 77%. By the Kazakh constitution, 9 seats are appointed by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan.   

817 foreign observers monitored the election and ballot casting. The OSCE/ODIHR deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) consisting of 15 core team experts from 13 participating States, 28 long-term observers and 400 short-term observers. Bundestag (German Parliament) Foreign Policy Advisor Andreas Jahn visited polling station number 120 in Astana and noted the procedure as fair and transparent. “It was very interesting to observe the voting process and we were waiting for the upcoming results with the others. As I can observe, the election process was intense, a lot of people were involved. We also assisted in the counting of votes at the end of the day,” he said.

The results of the electon were: 82.20 % - Nur Otan  7.18 % - Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol 7.14 % - Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan 2.01 % - Kazakhstani Social Democratic Party Auyl 1.18 % - Nationwide Social Democratic Party 0.29 % - Birlik

2016 Mazhilis Election in Kazakhstan from Embassy of Kazakhstan in the USA