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Kazakh president wins snap election – exit polls — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won a new term in a snap election on Sunday, winning a large majority of the vote, multiple exit polls suggest.

The top result was projected by a research institute of Kazakhstan’s ruling party Amanat, suggesting that more than 85.5% of voters backed Tokayev. A poll by international research institute Open Society showed a slightly lower figure, with some 82.45% projected support.

The SOCIS-A research institute gave a similar result, with some 82% of citizens supporting Tokayev.

According to official statistics, almost 70% of eligible voters turned up at the polling stations. Besides Tokayev, five other candidates took part in the election. However, they appeared to be largely unknown in the country, according to local media.

Speaking after the release of the first exit poll results, Tokayev said all candidates had equal chances during the election campaign.

“They freely visited the regions, met voters, campaigned. There were no restrictions for anyone. Each voter had the freedom of choice. So this campaign was fair and open,” said the president.

The elections in Kazakhstan come after the country amended its constitution following violent unrest that rocked it earlier this year. The ultimate goal of the amendments, according to Tokayev, was to shape the “superpresidential” republic in its more balanced presidential form. Under the new rules, a person is eligible for a single seven-year presidential term.

Tokayev first came to power in 2019, taking office after the decades-long rule of Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who instead assumed a lifelong post as head of the country’s Security Council.

Following civil unrest in January, Nazarbayev was removed from office, also stepping down from a leadership role in his Nur Otan party (renamed Amanat later that year). Several officials, connected or even linked to Nazarbayev, have also been removed from their posts, some even being targeted by criminal investigations. Apart from that, Tokayev reversed one of his first ruling decisions and renamed the capital of Nur-Sultan to Astana.

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