Voters in Kazakhstan approve constitutional changes

Lisa R. Parker

MOSCOW — Voters in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan have presented mind-boggling approval to proposed constitutional adjustments greatly observed as an try to repudiate the legacy of former strongman Nursultan Nazarbayev, who led the ex-Soviet republic for 3 decades.

Kazakhstan’s Central Election Commission stated Monday that 77% of voters supported the constitutional amendments in Sunday’s referendum, in accordance to preliminary success, when just beneath 19% voted in opposition to them and about 2.6% of ballots were being discovered invalid. The turnout was 68%.

The vote was named by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who has steadily strengthened his grip on electricity immediately after violent demonstrations in January remaining extra than 230 persons useless. The protests ended up sparked by a steep rise in gasoline charges, but they also reflected wide public discontent with a stagnant overall economy and authoritarian governing administration.

Sunday’s referendum provided particular questions on modifications like prohibiting the demise penalty and banning some officials from joining political parties. But it was broadly about assist for Tokayev’s all round system.

Tokayev moved methodically to sideline Nazarbayev, who had led Kazakhstan as its communist boss and then president after 1991 Soviet collapse. Nazarbayev stepped down in 2019, but experienced ongoing to maintain potent positions as head of the ruling get together and the country’s countrywide protection council until January’s unrest.

Tokayev replaced him as security council head during the unrest, in which a lot of demonstrators chanted “old gentleman out,” referring to the 81-yr-outdated former president. Later in January, Tokayev also took helm of the ruling bash.

In March, Tokayev vowed political reforms, together with cutting down the power of the presidency and strengthening parliament. He also identified as for minimizing government involvement in the financial system, and attempting to bridge the gap among rich and very poor.

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