Kazakhstan holding elections today after the violence in January 2022 in which 220 people were killed. The country is expecting a change and democratisation with political liberalisation.
Kazakhstan citizens would be casting their votes today for the new political faces that would form the new majlis, the lower house of the parliament. The country is also going to elect the maslikhat deputies of all levels.
There was a short active campaign for seats in the lower chamber, which is being reconfigured due to the deadly unrest a year ago in the resource-rich Central Asian nation.
Kassym -Jomart Tokayev, President of Kazakhstan, made a law of dissolving the Majlis on January 19, the lower house of the Kazakh parliament of 7 the conference and called for the elections to be held early of Majlis deputies.
The election is held after the January 2022 violence that occurred after the hike in fuel prices
The break comes after the third anniversary of the resignation of the then-president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was holding Kazakhstan from the time of the Soviet Union disintegration in 1991 and then after which it gained independence. He had managed to gather a massive influence over the population. Kassym – Jomart Tokayev, the successor of the Nursultan, was to a large degree anticipated to continue the authoritarian course of Nazarbayev, and in his forerunner’s honour Nur- Sultan, he renamed the capital as well.
After the January 2022 shake of the violence, there was a remarkable change in the country’s political landscape. The violence sparked with the provincial protests at the beginning when there was a hike in the fuel price, which further submerged the other cities around, particularly the commercial capital, Almaty.
There were open political demonstrations in protest to get the “Old man out!” a reference to Nazarbayev. However, the protests turned violent with the brutal gunning of more than 220 people by the police, primarily protesters, who died on the verge of putting down the unrest.
Amidst the political violence, Nazarbayev was removed from his powerful post of national head of the security council by Tokayev. The name of the capital was changed to its previous name of Astana, and the parliament revoked a law granting Nazarbayev and his family impunity from prosecution.
Attempts to reform and strengthen the parliament were made by Tokayev, reducing presidential powers and term to a single seven years. Further, the 98 seats of the lower house of the parliament are to be chosen in a single mandate run rather than by the party list.
Amanat party has the overwhelming majority and loyalty of the remaining parties
In the current parliament, the Amanat party has an overwhelming majority of seats. The remaining seats belong to the parties loyal to the Amanat party. There is a belief generated by the opinion surveys that indicate that in the new parliament, this party remains the largest party. However, the possibility of a final balance is yet unclear.
About seven political parties are running for the seats of the lower chamber of parliament, AMANAT, the Auyl National, the Democratic party, the Respublica party, and the National Social Democratic party.
There are 400 candidates, and even more, are self-nominated and competing in the single-mandate marathon; the national election commission granted two other parties permission to enter the proportional contest. The electorate has been energised by the broad spectrum of competition.
More than 12 million people are eligible to cast their votes; 1,177,507 are potential voters in the Turkestan region and 138, 277 are the lowest number of voters from the Ulytau region.
Country confident about the enlarged election
More comprehensive issues are being addressed by the candidates, such as further political reforms, housing and rising food prices. There needs to be a clear path forward for the country. The country is confident about the enlarged opportunity of the election. They anticipate that a mixed electoral system would bring a change, and democratisation would be possible with political liberalisation in Kazakhstan, as written by an analyst Assel Nussopova for the Astana Times newspaper.
Elections started at 7:00 am local time and would be happening until 8:00 pm. Counting votes would begin at 8:00 pm and is expected to complete by 8:00 am on January 20.
There are 77 polling stations set up in 62 foreign countries at diplomatic missions in Kazakhstan.