Kassym-Jomart Tokayev wins Kazakh presidency with 81.31% of vote
The voter turnout was 69.44%, and the process went smoothly as a result of the voters being quite active.
Citing preliminary results, Kazakhstan's Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Nurlan Abdirov confirmed that incumbent leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won the presidential race on Monday with 81.31% of the votes.
Abdirov added at a CEC meeting that the turnout was 69.44%.
The head of the observer mission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Zhang Ming, relayed the presidential race was well-organized by authorities and voters were active, leading the process to go smoothly.
Tokayev said last night at the republican headquarters that "they [the presidential candidates] visited the country's regions, met the voters, and conducted their election campaigns. There were no restrictions for anybody. Every voter was granted the freedom of choice. This electoral campaign was just and open."
A government reshuffle is expected as Tokayev announced all government institutions would be reformed and that the economy would experience "fundamental changes".
The election marks a first following the approval of 33 amendments to the Constitution of Kazakhstan in a referendum in March - instated after January witnessed mass protests as a result of a spike in gas prices. The new constitution includes a greater role for the parliament.
The vast former Soviet Republic sank into chaos last January, during protests over high living costs that turned violent, to the extent that some perceived them as a "color revolution".
Riots started in Kazakhstan when thousands of rioters took to the street amid surging gas prices in the Central Asian nation. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev then declared a state of emergency in the west of the country and Almaty.
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