No surprise in the Kazakhstan election. According to the preliminary results of the early presidential elections in Kazakhstan, the current head of state Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won 81.31 percent of the vote and secured his victory.
The initial results were announced by the Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan, Nurlan Abdirov.
For the first time in the presidential elections in Kazakhstan, the option “against all” was added to the ballots. It became the second most popular – it was chosen by 5.8 percent of voters.
The reason for early presidential elections
Early presidential elections in Kazakhstan were called after the country’s parliament in September approved amendments to the constitution, limiting the country’s presidency to one term, but for seven years, and returning the name Astana to the capital Nur-Sultan, named after the first president Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Tokayev came to power in 2019 with 70 percent of the vote, but after constitutional changes, the last term of his presidency was “nullified.”
After the exit polls were announced on Sunday evening, Tokayev spoke at his campaign headquarters and said the law held the election and all candidates had equal opportunities.
Before the election, some analysts said that turnout would be as important as the winner’s personality – a high turnout would mean people’s trust in the government.
Protests during Tokayev’s rule
According to analysts, the presidential election was called by Tokayev, who intended to legitimize his power in this way.
Analysts believe that Tokayev called for early elections to declare his victory before the emergence of strong political opponents or the raising of a protest mood in the country.
Tokayev became president of Kazakhstan in 2019. At that time, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had ruled the country for 28 years of independence, supported Tokayev in the early elections and effectively handed him power.
Therefore, Tokayev was considered by many to be only a protege and loyal supporter of Nazarbayev.
However, after the protests in January 2022, when at least 225 people were killed in the unrest, the new president began to actively expel relatives of the former leader from crucial positions in various departments, including law enforcement agencies and state-owned companies. At the same time, Nazarbayev was removed from the post of the head of the Security Council.
Tokayev was confident of his victory
Even before the elections were over, Tokayev said that the government would be reshuffled based on their results. “The government will remain in place, but indications of changes in the government (…) will be made,” he told reporters on Sunday, November 20.
Nazarbayev also expressed support for Tokayev’s candidacy in the election. “To whom did I transfer power voluntarily? You know, don’t you? Then I made my choice and stuck to it to the end. Now our people need unity. Of course, we have independence, the state is built, and the capital is built, but there is still much work ahead. This requires the unity of the people around one president. (…) I hope our people understand this,” Nazarbayev told reporters on election day.
Tokayev expressed a clear critical position on Russia’s policy
On June 17, during a speech at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, in the presence of Vladimir Putin, said that he did not recognize the “DPR” and “LPR” and criticized Russian politicians and media.
Tokayev began to reflect on the fact that the UN Charter has inherent contradictions – it contains both the right to respect the territorial integrity of states and the right of nations to self-determination, but the implementation of the latter causes chaos, so Kazakhstan does not recognize the self-proclaimed republics.
“If the right to self-determination is implemented throughout the globe, then instead of 193 states that are now part of the UN, there will be more than 500-600 states on earth. Of course, it will be chaos. For this reason, we do not recognize Taiwan, Kosovo, South Ossetia, or Abkhazia. This principle will be applied to quasi-state territories, which, in our opinion, maybe Luhansk and Donetsk.”
Tokayev also criticized Russian politicians and media who make insulting statements about Kazakhstan.