ASTANA, April 4 Kazakhstan's presidential
election revealed the same shortcomings as past polls, Europe's
main monitoring body said on Monday, urging Astana to introduce
democratic reforms before future parliamentary elections.
"International observers ...noted that reforms necessary for
holding genuine democratic elections have yet to materialize,"
the OSCE said in a statement on the elections in which veteran
leader Nursultan Nazarbayev won Sunday's early presidential
election with an overwhelming 95.5 percent of votes.
"Regrettably we have to conclude that this election could
and should have been better," Ambassador Daan Everts, Head of
the long-term election observation mission deployed by the OSCE
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR),
told a news briefing in the Kazakh capital.
"It showed the urgency of implementing the long-awaited
reforms ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections."
(Reporting by Robin Paxton; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing
by Jon Boyle)