Kazakhstan to Hold Early Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

Home / World / Kazakhstan to Hold Early Presidential and Parliamentary Elections
Early presidential elections will be held in Kazakhstan in autumn 2022. The term of office will be increased from five to seven years. This was announced by the current President of the country Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. He intends to run for president. “For me, the interests of the state are above all. That is why I am ready to shorten my term of office and go to early presidential elections,” Tokayev said, speaking before parliament. He proposed increasing the presidential term from five to seven years and prohibiting re-runs (Kazakhstan’s new constitution, adopted in June 2022, already prohibits this). Also, according to Tokayev, early elections to the Majilis, the lower house of Kazakhstan’s parliament, will be held in 2023. After that, the country’s government will resign and a new one will be formed. Moreover, in his address Tokayev announced an amnesty for participants of the January protests. However, it will not affect those accused of treason and attempts to change power through violence. Tokayev also promised to raise the minimum wage by 17% and to direct half of the National Fund to children’s personal accounts, which they would then be able to spend on tuition fees or housing purchases. Now the Fund amounts to about 53 billion dollars. In the summer of 2022, Kazakhstan held a referendum on amendments to the Constitution. In particular, the President’s family members were prohibited to hold managerial positions in the public sector, and the President himself was prohibited to be a political party member. Mass protests in Kazakhstan began on January 2, 2022, initially demanding lower fuel prices. Later, political slogans came into play. Amid the protests in several cities, primarily in Almaty, riots with the use of weapons broke out. Kazakhstani authorities claimed protesters did not incite them, but some terrorists trained from outside did. At President Tokayev’s request, troops from Russia and its allies were sent into the country. After the riots ended, the troops were withdrawn. Tokayev became acting president in March 2019 after Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned. In the summer of 2019, Tokayev called early presidential elections and won them by more than 70%.