President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev clearly re-elected

The outgoing President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has clearly won the presidential election, in the absence of opposition, confirming his status as the new strongman of the largest country in Central Asia, at the end of a black year. for this state rich in natural resources.

According to the preliminary results given Monday, November 21 by the Electoral Commission, this 69-year-old man who came to power in 2019 obtained 81.31% of the vote, and the participation amounted to 69.44%.

As expected, his five opponents made up the numbers, none of them exceeding 3.42%. Worse, the voting option “against all”a novelty in this election, attracted 5.8% of voters, coming in second place.

“This election opens a new era”

Located at the crossroads of important trade routes, Kazakhstan descended into chaos in January when protests against high prices escalated into riots, only to be brutally put down. Balance sheet: 238 dead. The country remains traumatized by this crisis and, a sign that tensions persist, the authorities announced on Thursday that they had arrested seven supporters of an opponent in exile, accused of fomenting a ” Rebellion “.

On the night of Sunday to Monday, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who had obtained nearly 71% of the votes in 2019, called for” unity “ to carry out the program of its June constitutional reform. “This election opens a new era, and all the main institutions of power will be reformed,” he promised.

He reiterated his commitment to economic reform and to “end of the monopoly in power”as Kazakhstan experienced during the three decades of the reign of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned in 2019. The candidate president had campaigned by carrying his project aimed at creating a “New Kazakhstan”, more just. But economic difficulties persist, as do authoritarian reflexes.

relentless ruler

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who honed his first weapons as a Soviet diplomat, became a key figure in the Nazarbayev regime after independence. But after being considered the henchman of his predecessor, the Kazakh president has officially undertaken to cut the cord in favor of the January crisis.

He has transformed himself this year into a relentless leader, firing on rioters in January, arresting relatives of the Nazarbayev clan, then standing up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Opposition muzzled

But “New Kazakhstan” that Kassym-Jomart Tokayev calls for is struggling to get rid of his authoritarian reflexes after three decades spent under the thumb of the omnipotent Nursultan Nazarbayev. Like this election in line with the Nazarbayev era, which won 98% of the vote in 2015, the political landscape remains deserted and the opposition muzzled by pressure from the authorities.

On Sunday, several voters took pictures of themselves in front of polling stations, many voters invoking the« obligation » to show the photo to their employer on Monday.

International election observers from the OSCE, who expressed regret before the election that their recommendations “relating to fundamental freedoms and the conditions of eligibility and registration of candidates” be “remained without follow-up”are to hold a press conference on Monday morning.