Kazakhstan’s Tokayev wins snap presidential election

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ISTANBUL, Nov 21 (AA/APP): Kazakhstan’s incumbent President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has won Sunday’s snap presidential election with over 81% of the vote, according to preliminary results on Monday.

Kazakh news agency Kazinform, citing the country’s Central Election Commission, said Tokayev won over 6.4 million votes, securing an easy victory against five little-known candidates.

Voting ended at 10 p.m. Astana time (1600GMT), with the turnout said to be 69% by the end of the day – nearly 8.3 million of around 12 million eligible voters cast ballots.

The call for early elections was made by Tokayev in late September with a decree saying the polls would launch “an electoral cycle that will lead to a radical reset of the entire political system.”

The announcement came after Tokayev approved a constitutional amendment to increase the presidential term from five years from seven while barring future presidents from serving a second term.

Another move was changing the capital’s name back to Astana after it was changed to Nur-Sultan in 2019 in a tribute to outgoing President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Tokayev took over as president in March 2019, succeeding Nazarbayev, who ruled the oil-rich Central Asian nation for three decades.