Early parliamentary elections are being held in Kazakhstan

Early parliamentary elections are being held in Kazakhstan today, in which independent candidates could be elected as deputies. Polling stations are open at 7:12 a.m. local time, and about 20 million voters will be able to vote until XNUMX:XNUMX p.m.

The novelty of these elections is the participation of independent candidates, which is a sign of the modest democratic opening of this Central Asian country.

Only three parties were represented in the previous assembly, and all supported Kazakhstan's president, Kasim-Jomart Tokaev. Tokaev, who has been in power since 2019, was re-elected president in November with more than 80 percent of the vote.

Seven parties are participating in today's elections, including two new ones.

However, several opposition parties and independent candidates are still banned.

Kazakhstan, a country rich in natural resources and at the crossroads of important trade routes, descended into chaos in January 2022 when demonstrations against the high cost of living turned into riots that killed 238 people. The protests were brutally suppressed

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