By H.E. Mr. Askar Zhumagaliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Last Sunday 8.3 million of people of Kazakhstan have chosen their future. Through one day one nation has made one big decision by electing the one person who will be representing their voices.
This year has been the most tumultuous in recent history of the country. Yet despite these challenges, our nation began writing a new chapter of our political development tumultuous.
After the turbulence President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, proposed constitutional reforms to transform country’s entire state model and form of government: by limiting the powers of the President, strengthening the role of parliament, enhancing citizens’ engagement in political processes, and further strengthening the protection of human rights.
The implementation of concrete reforms has ensured that Kazakhstan is on firm footing. Country’s economic initiatives are focussed on diversification, de-monopolisation, and ensuring a fair distribution of the national income.
Significantly, as per President Tokayev’s proposal, the presidential term has been reduced from two five-year terms to a single seven-year period without the possibility of re-election.
This initiative eliminates the risks of power monopolisation and strengthen the basic principles of democracy.
Six candidates have run with varying political views, including representatives of the opposition, giving the electorate extensive choice. In addition, for the first time in our history of Presidential lections, two female candidates were running for president. This is another important step in Kazakhstan’s ongoing democratic development. Over many years, Kazakhstan has been taking solid steps to ensure gender equality and to promote women’s role in business and politics. We are now witnessing the fruits of these efforts.
Six candidates have presented their campaign and visualization of country’s future. Only one candidate has won this race.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has won the presidential election in Kazakhstan after receiving 81,31% of the vote. This was announced by the Central Election Commission (CEC) after the votes were counted. 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 %.
According to the CEC, 8 300 046 citizens cast their vote, a turnout of 69.44%. Voting took place at 10,101 polling stations across the country, including 68 polling stations at 53 diplomatic missions of Kazakhstan 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 the voting had ended, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that if elected, “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.” He also noted that he would announce the date of parliamentary elections at the end of the year.
In line with recent constitutional changes, President Tokayev will serve a 7-year term without the right to re-election. Answering a question yesterday from a journalist on whether seven years would be enough to fulfil all the promises to the people, Tokayev said: “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.”
This was the seventh presidential election in Kazakhstan since the country’s independence in 1991.