© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev attends a gathering with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Astana, Kazakhstan, February 28, 2023. Olivier Douliery/Pool through REUTERS
ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakhstan votes in a snap parliamentary election on Sunday broadly anticipated to cement President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s grip on energy and full the reshuffle of the ruling elite which started after he totally assumed management final yr.
A stronger mandate will assist Tokayev navigate by regional turmoil brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the next injury to commerce, funding and provide chains all through the previous Soviet Union.
Though he formally turned president three years in the past, Tokayev, 69, had remained within the shadow of his predecessor and former patron Nursultan Nazarbayev till January 2022 when the 2 fell out amid an tried coup and violent unrest.
Tokayev sidelined Nazarbayev, after suppressing the political unrest within the oil-rich Central Asian nation and had quite a few his associates faraway from senior positions within the public sector, a few of whom later confronted corruption costs.
Whereas Tokayev has reshuffled the federal government, the decrease home of parliament – elected when Nazarbayev nonetheless had sweeping powers and led the ruling Nur Otan social gathering – was not due for election till 2026, and the president referred to as a snap vote.
In contrast to Nazarbayev, Tokayev has chosen to not lead the ruling social gathering – now rebranded Amanat – however polls present it’s prone to retain a snug majority and kind the core of his help base within the legislature, particularly within the absence of sturdy opposition events on the poll.
Nonetheless, for the primary time in nearly 20 years, a number of opposition figures are working as independents, a transfer which can enable some authorities critics to win a restricted variety of seats.
Tokayev has stated that the vote would enable him to begin implementing his plan to reform the nation and guarantee fairer distribution of its oil wealth.
The completion of political transition can be prone to strengthen Tokayev’s hand in international coverage. Regardless of receiving Moscow’s backing throughout the 2022 unrest, he has refused to help Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or recognise its annexation of some Ukrainian territories.
On the similar time, Astana is attempting to keep up good relationships with each Moscow, its neighbour and main buying and selling accomplice, and the West, which seeks to isolate Russia.