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Kazakhstan's new parliament has old look after reset falls short

Election marred by uneven playing field, apathy and allegations of irregularities

A voter casts her ballot during Kazakhstan's parliamentary election on March 19.   © Reuters

ALMATY -- It was meant to be the election that ushered in a new Kazakhstan. Instead, last Sunday's vote resulted in an old-style parliament consisting of parties and deputies loyal to the president with no effective critical voices.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev had promised voters a political reset, but they ended up with a familiar contest characterized by an uneven playing field, apathy and allegations of irregularities.

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