Kazakhstan's President Toqaev

Kazakhstan’s President Toqaev To Seek Second Term In Snap Election


NUR-SULTAN — Kazakhstan’s president, Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev, has called for an early presidential election in the coming months in which he will seek a second term in office.

In an annual address on September 1, Toqaev also proposed increasing the presidential term to seven years from five years while barring future presidents from seeking more than one term.

“I propose that we hold early presidential elections in the autumn of 2022,” Toqaev told parliament, saying measures were needed to “strengthen our statehood” and “maintain the momentum of reforms.”

Toqaev also called for early parliamentary elections to be held in the first half of 2023. He said the elections will be held both for the Mazhilis, the lower house of parliament, and the maslikhats, local councils on all levels.

A presidential vote had been due in Kazakhstan in 2024 and parliamentary elections in 2025.

Toqaev assumed office as acting president in March 2019 when former President Nursultan Nazarbaev unexpectedly resigned after running the country for nearly 30 years and handpicked Toqaev as his successor.

Toqaev went on to win an early presidential election in June 2019.

Toqaev and Nazarbaev’s relationship appeared to have turned sour after the bloody unrest in January this year as Toqaev took over his predecessor’s remaining roles and put pressure on his wealthy and influential relatives.

The upcoming election is expected to strengthen Toqaev’s mandate as an independent leader, should he win.

Kazakhstan, an oil rich Central Asian nation of some 19 million, has never held a presidential elections deemed free and fair by Western observers.

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