Astana [Kazakhstan]: Kicking-off the high stakes presidential elections, polling opened at 7 am across Kazakhstan on Sunday.
Former President Nursultan Nazarbayev cast his vote in the morning and interacted with the locals present at the polling station. He has been the President of the nation since Kazakhstan’s independence in 1992 to March 2019. He is not running for the post this time.
After Nazarbayev resigned from the post earlier this year, the Presidentship was transferred to the Speaker of the Senate (Upper house), Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who announced early presidential elections.
While Kazakhstan has seen many elections after independence, this is the first time in almost thirty years that the country will see a new candidate coming to power.
In his address to the nation as interim President, Tokayev announced that the presidential elections would be conducted earlier than anticipated. Seven candidates from different political parties and public associations — including Tokayev himself — are running for the post in the ongoing elections.
The other candidates are Danita Yespaeva (AK Zhol Party), Zhambyl Akhmetbekov (Communist People’s Party), Sadi-Bek Tugel (Uly Dala Kyrandary National Movement), Amangeldi Taspikhov (Federation of Trade Unions of Kazakhstan), Amirzhan Kosanov (National Patriotic Movement), and Toleutai Rakhimbekov from the AUYL (Village) Party.
Out of Kazakhstan’s 18.7 million population, around 11.6 million people have registered to vote. Voting is scheduled to close at 8 pm today, while the results are expected on the morning of June 10, according to Kazakhstan’s deputy foreign minister Roman Vassilenko.
The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with the Election Commission, has also made several arrangements for polling to be held in Kazakhstan’s embassies across the world. The Embassy of Kazakhstan in New Delhi is one such diplomatic mission where polling for Kazakh citizens is being conducted.