ASTANA — Kazakhstan’s Central Election Fee (OSK) has declared incumbent President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev because the winner of a November 20 presidential election that worldwide observers stated lacked competetiveness.
The OSK stated on November 22 that Toqaev obtained 81.3 % of the vote and that he shall be inaugurated for a seven-year time period on November 26.
Toqaev’s victory was anticipated, given he was competing in opposition to 5 little-known opponents.
A monitoring mission led by the OSCE’s Workplace for Democratic Establishments and Human Rights (ODIHR) stated after the election that it lacked “competitiveness” and underlined “the necessity for additional reforms to convey associated laws and its implementation in step with OSCE commitments to make sure real pluralism.”
“The incumbent stood because the joint candidate of all parliamentary events and, in impact, was not meaningfully challenged in a low-key marketing campaign. The power of residents to take part absolutely in political life stays considerably constrained, together with by limitations on basic freedoms,” the group’s evaluation stated.
Kazakhstan’s Overseas Ministry harshly criticized the evaluation, saying it “lacks objectivity” and “places in query” the effectiveness of such operations.
The evaluation “accommodates a set of typical OSCE/ODIHR biased conclusions, demonstrating a whole unwillingness to acknowledge the event of the interior state of affairs in our nation,” the ministry stated, including that it accommodates “unsubstantiated and unconfirmed allegations.”
“The content material of the OSCE/ODIHR’s assertion demonstrates a scarcity of need to develop long-term and constructive cooperation with Kazakhstan authorities, which can, undoubtedly, be taken into consideration,” it stated.
The U.S. State Division issued a assertion on November 22 saying Washington “concurs with the preliminary findings of the OSCE Workplace of Democratic Establishments and Human Rights (ODIHR) statement mission.”
“The US calls on the Kazakhstani authorities to totally implement ODIHR’s suggestions for future elections, together with upcoming parliamentary elections in 2023,” the assertion stated, whereas additionally stressing “we look ahead to working with President [Toqaev] and his authorities to advance our widespread aims.”
“The US additionally reiterates its unwavering assist for Kazakhstan’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, which has been the bedrock of our partnership for over 30 years,” the assertion stated
The November 20 election got here almost three months after Kazakhstan changed its system limiting presidents to 2 consecutive five-year phrases with a single seven-year time period. The constitutional adjustments have been proposed by Toqaev as a part of his marketing campaign to create what he calls a “new” Kazakhstan.
The presidential vote was initially due in 2024 and parliamentary elections in 2025. However in September, Toqaev known as for early presidential and parliamentary elections, saying a brand new mandate was wanted to “preserve the momentum of reforms” following a June referendum that stripped ex-President Nursultan Nazarbaev of his prestigious “Elbasy” (chief of the nation) standing.
Toqaev continues to distance himself from his predecessor, who stepped down in 2019 after almost three many years in energy and named his longtime ally as his successor.
The referendum to amend the structure — which included the brand new presidential time period restrict — was offered by Toqaev as an vital step to shift Kazakhstan from a “super-presidential type of authorities to a presidential republic with a robust parliament.”
Critics, nevertheless, have stated the overhaul did not change the character of the authoritarian regime and did not take away any vital energy that the president’s workplace held.