In December 1999, the very first alternative parliamentary elections, observed by the OSCE, were carried out on a party basis with eight to nine candidates per seat and nine parties participating. Five years later, Kazakhstan proved to be continuing on the path to democratic reform, by instituting new parliamentary elections. Millions of people, fifty six percent of those eligible to vote, took part in multi-party elections to the Majilis (lower parliamentary house) which were held under the new, more advanced Election Law adopted this same year.
The Senate elections were last held in December 2005 and will be held again in 2011. Elections for the Majilis were last held in August 2007 and will occur again in 2012. The percent of vote per party results for the August 18, 2007 were as follows:
- Nur-Otan - 88.1 percent
- National Social Democratic Party (NSDP) - 4.6 percent
- Ak Zhol – 3.3 percent
- Auyl - 1.6 percent
- Communist People's Party - 1.3 percent
- Patriots Party - 0.8 percent
- Ruhaniyat - 0.4 percent.
The Nur-Otan Party received 98 percent of the seats, as parties must achieve a threshold of seven percent of the electorate to qualify for seats in the Majilis.
January 1999 marked the first alternative presidential elections in Kazakhstan, with four alternative candidates in the presidential race, observed by the OSCE. Six years later, in December of 2005, President Nazarbayev was re-elected for a new seven-year term as President of Kazakhstan after receiving the majority of the vote. Approximately 80 percent of the electorate voted in this election that included five alternative candidates, two being major opposition leader.
The Constitutional Council is charged with the responsibility of deciding when to hold presidential and parliamentary elections, and examining legislation for Constitutional compliance.