“The presidential election marks the beginning of a new political era in Kazakhstan”
Edited by Anna Popper
Early presidential elections were held in the Republic of Kazakhstan on the 20th November 2022. Six candidates participated in the election, including incumbent President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
This was the seventh presidential election in Kazakhstan since the country’s independence in 1991. A presidential vote was originally scheduled for 2024 and parliamentary elections for 2025. But in September 2022, Tokayev called for snap presidential and parliamentary elections, stating that a new mandate was needed to maintain the momentum of reforms following a June 2022 referendum. In line with the recently approved constitutional amendment, the presidential term has been extended from five to seven years, while barring future presidents from serving a second term.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has won his presidential re-election with a convincing result in Kazakhstan after receiving 81,31 % of the vote. This huge victory was announced by the Central Election Commission (CEC) after counting the votes. According to the preliminary results, other candidates received votes as follows: Zhiguli Dairabayev – 3,42 %, Karakat Abden – 2,60 %, Meiram Kazhyken – 2,53 %, Nurlan Auesbayev – 2,22 %, Saltanat Tursynbekova – 2,12 %, against all – 5,8 %.
Exit polls by three organisations: “Open Society International Institute for Regional Studies”, “Amanat Party Public Policy Institute” and “the Institute of Complex Social Research”, showed similar results. The election was carried out lawfully and fairly.
According to the CEC, 8.300.046 citizens out of around 12 million eligible voters cast their ballot, a turnout of 69.44%. Voting took place at 10,101 polling stations across the country, including 68 polling stations at 53 Kazakh diplomatic missions around the world.
The election was monitored by 641 observers from international organisations and foreign states. Commenting on the election process, foreign observers noted the high organisational level of the election. No violations in the conduct of the election were reported by the observers. The election was also covered by 254 foreign journalists who received accreditation.
Speaking after casting his ballot, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on the election: “Today is a very important, historic day. We are voting for a bright future of our country.” “The presidential election marked the beginning of a new political era that will see a major transformation of the main power institutions.”
On changes to the government: “The government will remain in office, but point-by-point changes in the composition of the government and other agencies will of course take place.”
On Kazakhstan’s foreign policy: “Kazakhstan must conduct a multi-vector foreign policy. I have said many times that Kazakhstan should be committed to the United Nations Charter and pursue a peaceful foreign policy.”
About the return of illegally exported money: “The systematic work of the state will continue. A special commission has been created headed by the Prosecutor General. I personally supervise the work of this commission. I believe that over time we must adopt a law on the return of illegally exported capital from our country.”
In accordance with recent constitutional changes, President Tokayev will serve a seven-year term until 2029 without the right to re-election. Answering a question from a journalist on whether seven years would be enough to fulfil all the promises to the people, Tokayev replied: “I believe that seven years will be enough, because this is a long time in the life of any person. The most important thing is that there will be no monopoly on power in our country.”
“We will clearly and consistently implement constitutional reform…The national economy will undergo fundamental changes. The authorities will improve the well-being of people. Kazakhstan needs unity to make all these goals a reality. Therefore, I call for unity,” Tokayev stressed after the announcement of the preliminary election results.
President Tokayev also noted that he would announce the date of early parliamentary elections later this year.
Source: Embassy of Kazakhstan in Budapest,
Press Office of the President of Kazakhstan