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You're reading: Kazakh leader hails unity, monitors criticise vote
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Two parties, both sympathetic to the president, will for the first time join Nazarbayev’s victorious Nur Otan in parliament after Sunday’s vote to add a veneer of democracy in the face of growing frustration over unequal distribution of oil wealth.

But election observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe delivered a scathing report on Monday, criticising the absence of any real opponents to Nazarbayev, who has ruled the former Soviet republic for more than 20 years.

Nazarbayev told celebrating supporters in a packed sports centre that Nur Otan’s overwhelming win was a vote for stability one month after protests by sacked oil workers in the town of Zhanaozen erupted into clashes that killed at least 16 people.

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