“Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Kazakhstan on 9 June 2019 with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev voted into his first term as President. According to the preliminary findings of the internationally-recognised OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, the election offered an important moment for potential political reforms, but it was tarnished by clear violations of fundamental freedoms as well as pressure on critical voices. There were widespread detentions of peaceful protesters on election day” reads the text of the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson statement.
“Overall, the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission recognised that elections were administered efficiently by the Central Electoral Commission, but significant irregularities were observed across the country, including cases of ballot box stuffing, group voting and series of identical signatures on voter lists. The count was also negatively assessed in more than half of observations.
“In the light of the shortcomings reported by the OSCE/ODIHR Mission, we expect Kazakhstan to address these violations, as well as the controlled legal and political electoral framework, as they run counter to the country’s OSCE commitments and international obligations. In the framework of our Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan, the European Union stands ready to further support reforms to strengthen the promotion and protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights, the respect for democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance.”
“We look forward to working with the new President in this regard, as well as to advance EU-Kazakhstan relations more broadly.”
The speaker of the Senate, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (65) will become an acting head of state in Kazakhstan until next presidential elections scheduled for December 2020. The shift of power to the speaker has been done in accordance with the Constitution, declared by resigning President Nazarbayev, who ruled the country for three decades.
“Tokayev is the very person that we can trust to govern Kazakhstan,” Nazarbayev said. “I know him well. He is an honest, responsible and reliable person.”
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is a career diplomat, and a political scientist, who hold prominent positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ascending to the top, and leading the foreign policy of the country for a decade. He is fluent in Russian, English, and Chinese languages.
As Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, Tokayev was elected in 2008 Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
“Strong President, authoritative Parliament, accountable Government” said Tokayev , while describing his vision of Kazakh state model.
The appointment of the acting President coincided with the Kazakh traditional spring celebrations of Nowruz, marking the beginning of a new cycle of life (21 March).
Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev (78) will step down.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in office since 1990.
President Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan since the fall of the Soviet Union, announced on March 19 that he would resign his office.
“I have taken the decision to refuse the mandate of the presidency,” he said in a televised address.
A few weeks ago he dismissed the government as it struggles with low oil prices and domestic discontent. Sanctions against Russia, the country’s major trading partner, have also damaged the economy and fomented wide-spread discontent with the government blamed incapacity to ensure adequate living standards.
The President said that Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the speaker of the upper house of parliament and a Nazarbayev’s loyalist, will take over as the country’s acting leader until the end of his term, as regulated by the Kazakh Constitution. This term ends in March 2020.