Presidential elections held in Kazakhstan
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Presidential elections held in Kazakhstan

A photo: REUTERS

The first results of exit polls (polls at the exit from polling stations) have appeared after the presidential elections in Kazakhstan held on Sunday, November 20.

They were allowed to publish only after midnight Astana time. Midnight has come.

And what? The carriage of the Kazakh authorities turned into a pumpkin? Vice versa! She became even stronger and faster.

The current president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, according to exit polls, is gaining 82% of the vote. Lots of. We can say, reinforced concrete result. And this means that Tokayev will almost certainly remain the president of Kazakhstan for 7 years (previously in this country, the presidential term was 5 years).

Curiously, Tokayev had 5 rivals. But none of them jumped the bar of 2-3%.

And the second place was taken by … the candidate “Against all”. 5% of voters ticked this box!

Why is it important for Russia who wins the presidential elections in Kazakhstan?

1. Because the November 20 elections in Kazakhstan are special. The president there is elected for the first time for 7 years at once. It’s a lot. The current president, Kassym-Zhomar Tokayev, has the most chances. Who has already promised that if he is elected, he will not be re-elected in 7 years for a new term.

2. Because Kazakhstan is the largest (after Russia itself) economy in the CIS. The largest (again after Russia) oil and gas exporter. And a trading partner of Russia. It is also the largest republic of the former USSR in terms of area (after Russia) – 2.7 million square kilometers. It is clear that relations with such a neighbor to Moscow are very important.

3. Because 3 million ethnic Russians live in Kazakhstan (this is 15% of the population). Russian is not a state language, but a second official one.

4. Because the border between Russia and Kazakhstan – 7.5 thousand kilometers – is the longest land border in the world! Therefore, it is categorically unacceptable for Russia that Kazakhstan would turn into an unfriendly country. Or she was shaken by riots. This is the largest “underbelly” and “rear” of Russia. And it is very important that it be stable and friendly.

5. Because Kazakhstan is a military-political ally of Russia in the CSTO (which also includes Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). Everyone saw how it works in critical situations in January 2022, when Russia sent its paratroopers to Kazakhstan at the request of President Tokayev to stabilize the political situation. After that, the riots that arose in some regions of Kazakhstan, including in Alma-Ata, immediately began to decline.

6. Because Russia expects that in the conditions of Western sanctions, Kazakhstan can become one of the important “windows” for parallel imports.

7. Because Turkish President Erdogan is actively involving Kazakhstan in his organization of the Turkic world. In fact – in the prototype or reincarnation of the Ottoman Empire. For Russia, this is a reason to be wary.

8. Because the shortest route to Europe from China – through Russia – the new Silk Road should pass through Kazakhstan.

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