Kazakh president wins new term against weak opposition – Times of India


ASTANA: Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev easily won another seven-year term in snap elections where voters’ second-biggest choice was to reject all six candidates, the Central Election Commission of the country said country Monday.
According to the chairman of the election commission, Tokayev received more than 81 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election Nurlan Abdirov. Five candidates were on the ballot against Tokayev. Nearly 6 percent of voters chose the ‘against all’ option.
With a short campaign period starting at the end of October, the candidates had little chance of facing major challenges.
Tokayev has taken steps to distance Kazakhstan from longtime ally and dominant regional power Russia.
He emphatically said that the country did not recognize the Ukrainian regions that Russia had declared sovereign states at the beginning of the conflict that began in February. Kazakhstan has also taken in hundreds of thousands of Russians who fled after President Vladimir Putin issued a conscription order in September.
When Tokayev became president in 2019 after the resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayevhe was widely expected to continue the authoritarian course of the man who had led the resource-rich country since its independence from the Soviet Union.
Nazarbayev remained highly influential as head of the National Security Council, and the capital was renamed Nur-Sultan in his honor.
Then a wave of violence erupted in January, as provincial protests, initially sparked by a rise in the price of fuel, swept other cities, particularly the commercial capital of Almaty, and turned openly political as protesters chanted “Old man out!” shouted. in reference to Nazarbayev.
More than 220 people, mostly protesters, died as police cracked down on the unrest.
Amid the violence, Tokayev removed Nazarbayev from his post on the Security Council. He restored the former name of the capital, Astana, and the parliament of Kazakhstan has repealed a law granting Nazarbayev and his family immunity from prosecution.
One of Nazarbayev’s cousins, Kairat Satybaldy, was sentenced in September to six years in prison for embezzlement. Nazarbayevafter casting his vote on Sunday, said: “One must think that the decision of the court was just.”
Tokayev later enacted reforms, including strengthening parliament, reducing presidential powers, and limiting the presidency to a single seven-year term.

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