Kazakhstan's presidential election after turbulent year, polls closed
The presidential election in Kazakhstan is anticipated to strengthen the position of the incumbent Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
After months of deadly turmoil that caused a historic change in the Central Asian nation, Kazakhs went to the polls on Sunday in presidential elections that are expected to strengthen the hold of the current President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Turnout stood at 67.85% three hours before the 10,000 polling stations in the country closed. First exit polls are expected at 1800 GMT.
Few expect surprises in the polls as Tokayev's victory is all but a foregone conclusion.
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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 demonstrators took to the street to protest against the 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.
The violent demonstrations saw armed groups carrying out brutal attacks and operations that led to the death and injury of hundreds.
Following his response to the West-instigated riots, Tokayev said he sought a "new mandate of trust from the people" in this election.
In 2019, Tokayev came to power after winning 70% of the vote.
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