Ruling party likely to win Kazakh parliamentary elections – Times of India

ALMATY: Kazakhstan voted on Sunday in snap parliamentary elections that are widely expected to strengthen President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s grip on power and complete a realignment of the ruling elite that began after he assumed full leadership last year.
By the time polling stations closed nationwide, 54.2% of voters had cast their ballots. Central Electoral Commission said. Exit poll results are expected after midnight (1800 GMT), with official data to be released on Monday.
A stronger mandate will help Tokayev navigate the regional turmoil caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent damage to trade, investment and supply chains in the former Soviet Union.
Although he formally became president in 2019, 69-year-old Tokayev has been in the shadow of his predecessor and former patron Nursultan Nazarbayev until January 2022, when the two fell out amid a coup attempt and violent unrest.
Tokayev sidelined Nazarbayev after quelling political unrest in the oil-rich Central Asian country and had several of his associates removed from senior public sector positions, some of whom were later accused of corruption.
While Tokayev has reshuffled the government, the lower house has been elected when Nazarbayev still had far-reaching powers and presided over the ruling Nur Otan party – would not be elected until 2026, and the president called an emergency vote.
Unlike Nazarbayev, Tokayev has opted not to lead the ruling party, renamed Amanat, but polls show it is likely to retain a comfortable majority and be at the core of its rank and file in the legislature, especially in the absence of strong opposition parties on the ballot. .
However, for the first time in nearly two decades, several opposition members are running as independents, a move that could allow some government critics to win a limited number of seats.
Yet voting in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city that usually shows the most support for the opposition, was slow on Sunday morning amid a heavy police presence on the streets.
“We keep complaining that nothing is changing in our country and that we ourselves are not taking part in the political life of our country,” said Yevgeniya, a 36-year-old marketing executive who refused to give her last name or say who she voted for. “Going out and voting is the least we can do to bring about change.”
Tokayev, who cast his early vote in Astana without speaking to the press, has said the vote would allow him to implement his plan to reform the country and ensure a fairer distribution of his oil wealth.
The completion of the political transition is also likely to make Tokayev stronger in foreign policy. Despite Moscow’s support during the 2022 unrest, it has refused to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or recognize the annexation of some Ukrainian territories.
Astana tries to maintain good relations both with Moscow, its neighbor and important trading partner, and with the West, which tries to isolate Russia.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here