5.33 PM Saturday, 24 February 2024
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 05:29 06:43 12:35 15:51 18:21 19:35
24 February 2024

Kazakh leader defends his democratic reforms


Kazakhstan's veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed here Wednesday that the Central Asian nation had already notched up "a lot" in its democratic reforms after heavy criticism of recent elections.

"I am of the opinion that what we have achieved is already a lot," he told reporters speaking through an interpreter after talks here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Foreign monitors led by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe strongly criticised the resource-rich nation's January parliamentary polls.

The polls, in which Nazarbayev's ruling Nur Otan party took nearly 81 percent of the vote, "did not meet fundamental principles of democratic elections", they concluded.

Asking "what do you want from us", Nazarbayev stressed here that three political parties were represented in the Kazakh parliament and 95 percent of the media was privately owned.