Day of silence begins in Kazakhstan ahead of presidential election | Eurasia Diary -

16 September, Monday

Day of silence begins in Kazakhstan ahead of presidential election

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A ban on election campaigning came into force in Kazakhstan on Saturday ahead of the snap presidential election to take place on Sunday.

For the first time ever in Kazakhstan’s modern history, longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev who steered the country for slightly less than 30 years, will not run for presidency. Nazarbayev, who turns 79 this year, stepped down on March 19. However, his successor 66-year-old Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (nominated by the ruling Nur Otan party), whose campaign slogan is "Continuity. Justice. Progress" is widely seen as the most likely winner. According to the majority of experts, he is likely to gather 50% plus one vote and claim the victory already in the first round.

Despite the ban on campaigning, candidates’ posters will not be removed from public places, because the law does not openly state they must be taken away. Polling stations - 9,970 in the country and 65 abroad, including five in Russia - are the only place where they are directly prohibited.

Nine candidates initially filed documents for registration, but one of them, Talgat Yergaliyev (Union of Builders of Kazakhstan association of legal entities), withdrew his candidacy, while another - Jumatai Aliyev (Khalyk Demografiyasy public association) - failed the test for the knowledge of the country’s official Kazakh language.

The remaining candidates are Tokayev, member of the lower parliament house Jambyl Akhmetbekov, aged 58 (nominated by the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan); member of the lower parliament house Daniya Yespayeva, aged 58 (nominated by the Ak Zhol party); journalist Amirjan Kosanov, aged 54 (Ult Tagdyry National Patriotic Movement Association), board chairman of the National Agrarian Research and Educational Center Toleutai Rakhimbekov, aged 54 (representing the Auyl People’s Democtratic Patriotic Party), trade union leader Amangeldy Taspikhov, aged 59 (Federation of Kazakh Trade Unions) and writer Sadybek Tugel (Uly Dala Kyrandary Republican Movement).



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