Early parliamentary elections are being held in Kazakhstan
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.