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Kazakh ruling party sweeps vote criticized as uncompetitive

Initial data shows that president's party won 71% of vote

Members of a local electoral commission open a ballot box after polls closed during a parliamentary election in Almaty.   © Reuters

ALMATY  (Reuters) -- Early data suggested the Nur Otan party headed by Kazakhstan's former president Nursultan Nazarbayev has won a landslide victory in Sunday's parliamentary election, although Western observers say the vote was uncompetitive.

Such a result was widely expected as no opposition groups ran in the vote and the party has dominated the oil-rich Central Asian nation's landscape for decades.

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