Kazakh chief headed for landslide victory in snap election, polls show


Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was headed for a landslide victory in a snap election on Sunday, according to exit polls, solidifying his grip on power significantly less than a year just after he sidelined his lengthy-ruling predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The former diplomat, who arrived to electricity in 2019 as Nazarbayev’s hand-picked successor when the Central Asian nation’s only ruler since the Soviet period stepped down, broke with his ex-patron just after a January rebellion that Tokayev referred to as a coup endeavor.

A new election victory – polls confirmed him winning in between 82% and 85% of the vote – would give Tokayev, 69, the type of overpowering personalized mandate that Nazarbayev routinely secured as he created a persona cult over five successive phrases.

Nazarbayev, who experienced held on to essential posts following stepping down, gave them up in the course of the rebellion early this calendar year in which 238 people died. Tokayev has due to the fact pressured Nazarbayev allies to relinquish other positions, and improved the name of the money – renamed “Nur-Sultan” in Nazarbayev’s honor – again to Astana.

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Tokayev named in Russian assist to set down the January unrest, but has due to the fact retained his length from Moscow, keeping away from offering community backing to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Russia is Kazakhstan’s largest trading spouse, and Russia’s slide into recession has hurt its neighbor’s financial state, though the strength of the ruble RUB=, boosted by funds controls, has served force inflation in Kazakhstan to a 14-yr superior.

Tokayev, a previous foreign minister and deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, has overseen constitutional reforms which limit his personal rule to two terms. He has also promised to lower income inequality by rooting out corruption and redistributing prosperity extra reasonably in the country of 19 million persons.

The presidential election had initially been scheduled for late 2024, but was moved up soon after January’s unrest and a subsequent constitutional referendum. Tokayev stated on Sunday he would proceed “resetting” the political program by calling an early parliamentary election future 12 months. Tokayev give up the ruling Amanat get together this calendar year and oversaw reforms generating it less complicated to build new political get-togethers.

Impression polls have predicted none of the 5 other candidates would score in the double digits in Sunday’s vote.

“Among those people who are jogging for president, I only know Tokayev, first of all,” Timerlan Sadykov, a resident of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s most important town, mentioned on the eve of the vote.

“And secondly, the way he is carried out himself on the worldwide phase has been very attractive.”

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A different Almaty voter, a 35-12 months-previous supervisor who gave only his initial name, Serik, explained he voted against all candidates.

.”..I believe the powers that be have to comprehend they have presented us no real option,” he mentioned.

Law enforcement detained a handful of dozen individuals in Almaty who staged tiny-scale protests against the vote, contacting it unlawful, in accordance to opposition groups and community media. Police claimed some have been quickly released, although other individuals confronted misdemeanor prices.

By the time polling stations closed across Kazakhstan at 9 pm area time, 69.4% of voters experienced cast their ballots, the Central Election Commission stated. Preliminary final results of the vote are predicted on Monday.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov and Mariya Gordeyeva Extra reporting by Tamara Vall in Astana Editing by Peter Graff, Frances Kerry, Alexander Smith and Paul Simao)

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