Kazakhstan Holds Early Presidential Elections News

Kazakhstan Holds Early Presidential Elections | News

Kazakhstan is holding presidential elections this Sunday with six candidates vying for the country’s highest office: incumbent President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Karakat Abden, Meiram Kazhyken, Nurlan Auesbayev, Saltanat Tursynbekova and Zhiguli Dairabayev.

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As of 10:00 am Astana local time, 2,792,962 people out of the country’s 11,950,485 eligible voters had cast their ballots, according to the Central Election Commission.

Among the regions, the highest voter turnout is in the Karagandy region with 32.27 percent, while the lowest is in the city of Almaty with 8.42 percent.

In addition to Torkayev, who points as a favorite, there are other candidates such as Nurlán Auesbáev, from the Social Democratic Party and Saltanat Tursinbekova, a former civil servant who advocates in his program to combat domestic violence.

Also Qaraqat Abden, candidate of the Alliance of Social Workers; Zhiguli Dairabáev, from the ruling Auil patriotic party, and Meiram Kazhiken, presented by the Kazakh unions.

These elections were brought forward after a constitutional referendum in June in which a majority of Kazakhs backed political reforms, such as increasing presidential terms from five to seven years.

Polls opened at 7:00 a.m. local time (01:00 a.m. GMT) in the capital, Astana. The nearly 12 million voters mentioned will be able to vote until 8:00 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT).

The vote caps a year marked by riots in January 2022 that left at least 238 people dead and nearly plunged the resource-rich former Soviet republic into chaos.

Tokayev voted this Sunday while his predecessor and father of the Central Asian nation, Nursultan Nazarbáyev, called for the unity of the Kazakhs.

“I believe that seven years will be enough. It is a long period of time in the life of any person. The most important thing is that in our country there will be no monopoly of power,” Tokáyev told the press after casting his vote in the Kazakh capital, Astana.