Kazakhstan announces early presidential elections

9 April 2019 15:36 (UTC+04:00)

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced early presidential elections to be held on June 9. 

"Dear compatriots! Today I am delivering an important message to the people and to each of us. According to the Constitution, I made a decision to hold extraordinary presidential elections on June 9, 2019," Tokayev said in a statement.

He guaranteed citizens transparency of the upcoming vote, noting that this is his principled position.

Tokayev emphasized that Kazakhstan is a democratic state, therefore the president should be elected according to the will of the people.

The document states that the government of Kazakhstan must take measures for the organizational, logistical and financial support of the early presidential election.

"Governors of the regions, mayors of the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent must ensure timely preparation and accuracy of lists of citizens with the right to vote, provide all-round assistance to the central, territorial and district election commissions in dealing with the organization and conduct of early presidential election", reads the decree.

According to the Constitution of Kazakhstan, early presidential elections are appointed by the decision of the Kazakh President and are held within two months from the date of their announcement.

Kazakh political analysts consider Tokayev himself the main candidate, according to Interfax-Kazakhstan. At the same time, the Communist Party has already made a statement, noting that it is ready to nominate its candidate. Also, experts admit participation in the election of a "social democratic wing" representative.

There are six political parties registered in Kazakhstan: the Nur Otan government party, the people's democratic (patriotic) party Ayul, the democratic party Akzhol of Kazakhstan, the political party Birlik (Unity), the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan and the National Social Democratic Party.

Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Dariga Nazarbayeva commented on the information that appeared in the media about her intention to run for the presidency of Kazakhstan, Zakon.kz reports.

Her assistant Saule Mustafayeva said that Nazarbayeva does not plan to run for the election of the President of Kazakhstan.

"Any citizen of the country may run for it in accordance with the Constitution and laws. Political parties will decide on candidates for nomination," commented Nazarbayeva.

She also added that the election results depend on the people of Kazakhstan, adding that everything should be within the law, but did not say whether she would accept the proposal if the party invited her to run for election.

Nursultan Nazarbayev steadily headed the republic from April 1990 (until December 1991, as president of the Kazakh SSR), and almost a year before that he was the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. He is the record holder for being in power in the post-Soviet space.

Officially Nazarbayev bears the title "Leader of the Nation". In June 2018, the Constitutional Court of Kazakhstan secured Nazarbayev’s right to head the country's Security Council for life.

Nazarbayev announced the termination of his powers as president of the country on March 19, 2019.

The post of head of state was transferred to Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev on March 20, who previously held the post of Speaker of Senate of Parliament.

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Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94 

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