June 26, 2019

Elections update, Kazakhs prepared for historical change

The Republic of Kazakhstan just witnessed yesterday Sunday, June 9th the first national elections ever where President Nursultan Nazarbayev was not in the ballot. The candidate of Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan Party, Mr Kassim-Jomart Tokayev (66), former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current president ad-interim, won the presidential elections by a large marge of 77.06% of ballots. 

Delegations of international observers witnessed the election process closely. The civil society of Kazakhstan organised in associations such as Amanat, a social media platform regrouping alone 800 organization members from medium to small entrepreneurs companies and students associations also participated in the elections as surveyors. 

The local media and an important group of international journalists coming from all over the world were reporting from the national capital of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and other cities as observers from these historical elections.  Seven candidates were on the ballot, including Daniya Yespaeva, the only woman in the group who got 5.32 % of the votes. The second place went to Kosanov Amirzhan with 15.39% of the votes as per the National Central Elections Commission at midnight. 

The political campaign started a month ago, showing Tokayev as the most popular candidate and the favourite to win the presidential elections. His government program includes social reforms, business-oriented regulations, education and health, infrastructure projects and strengthens Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. Following Diplomat Magazine´s direct interviews to the academia, small and middle-sized businesses in Nur-Sultan, Tokayev government program represents the most balanced and practical policy in relation to other candidates.  

However, very few unhappy protesters were holding signs of “faked results”, “shame” trying to prevent people to vote, showing up their disagreement even before the first bulletin from the National Central Commission came out.  Nevertheless, a high number of citizens went out to vote under a general calm and secure atmosphere. Diplomat Magazine witnessed some foreign journalists taking pictures and reporting on the minor incident with protesters in Nur-Sultan. The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Marat Kozhayev has also reported that the police has arrested some 500 radical individuals and unauthorized unhappy protesters trying to disrupt the public order.  

“It is a new experience for Kazakhstan, even the candidates were not aware of many elements of the promotional part of a political campaign,” said to Diplomat Magazine Mrs Mira, one of our interviewee, before she went to vote in a Nur-Sultan poll station. For her, poll´s results turned out without problems if considering it as the very first presidential elections in Kazakstan´s history.

Foreign delegations from Italy, Greece, France, Spain, China, Russia, Belarus, Brazil, USA, Germany, UK, Israel, Switzerland and the like, announced a clean election process with very positive expectations for the people of Kazakhstan.  

Under Tokayev´s government, it is expected a series of innovations and change, renewing diplomatic ties in the international arena and fostering foreign direct investments in the country.   

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