Kazakhstan's Multiparty Parliament's First Session

By Salon Staff

Published January 20, 2012 7:18AM (EST)

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) — Kazakhstan's newly elected parliament has assembled for its first session since an election that saw the president's party maintain its solid grip over the chamber.

Deputies from three parties were sworn in at an official ceremony Friday that, however, does mark the end of the ruling Nur Otan party's monopolistic control of the Majlis, or lower house.

Speaking at the opening of parliament, President Nursultan Nazarbayev hailed the election of a multiparty parliament as a new phase in former Soviet Central Asian nation's democratic development.

International election monitors say Sunday's election failed to meet the fundamental principles of a democratic vote and that authorities should have allowed more genuine opposition parties to participate.

Salon Staff

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