Kazakhstan to Hold Snap Presidential Election on June 9
Kazakhstan to Hold Snap Presidential Election on June 9

Kazakhstan will hold a snap presidential election on June 9, the interim head of state Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has announced, moving the vote up by almost a year following Nursultan Nazarbaev’s resignation last month after 30 years in power.

In a televised address to the nation on April 9, Toqaev said he would “guarantee a free and fair election,” though no vote held in the Central Asian country since the Soviet collapse of 1991 has been deemed democratic by international observers.

Toqaev said that he made the decision to hold an early election after discussing the issue with Nazarbaev — referring to the ex-president as Elbasy, or Leader of the Nation, a title bestowed upon him by the loyal parliament in 2010.

The early election appears aimed at shortening the political transition period and decreasing the chances of instability following the abrupt resignation of Nazarbaev, 78, who had been president since 1990 and remains chairman of the ruling party and the influential Security Council.

No date for the vote had been set but it had been expected to be held in April 2020, five years after the previous presidential election. “In order to secure social and political accord, confidently move forward, and deal with the tasks of socioeconomic development, it is necessary to eliminate any uncertainty,” Toqaev said in his address, as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Toqaev did not say whether he would run in the election, but he would not have been expected to do so in the speech because presidential candidates can only be nominated by nationwide organizations such as political parties.