Astana [Kazakhstan], November 24 (ANI): After winning Kazakhstan’s Sunday snap election, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is expected to strengthen its ties with China and Western powers as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine erodes Moscow’s clout over former Soviet states in Central Asia, Nikkei Asia reported
After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, several central Asian states have drawn away from Moscow, including Kazakhstan.
On November 14, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for Russia to pay Ukraine reparations. While Russia and China voted against it, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and several of their neighbours abstained.
The world is watching to see how Kazakhstan will move forward with democratic reform now that Tokayev has worn a second term.
The latest election strengthens Tokayev’s mandate to pursue a new path for Kazakhstan, both on the international stage and at home, according to Nikkei Asia.
Opinion polls showed growing support for Tokayev heading into the election, thanks partly to his break from former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Tokayev pledged to correct past mistakes and resolve accumulated problems — a veiled criticism of his predecessor, who served as president for nearly three decades after Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991 and is considered the country’s founding father, reported Nikkei Asia.
Meanwhile, China is also trying to mend its relationship with Central Asia and it seems that Beijing is starting with Kazakhstan. After Tokayev won Kazakhstan’s Sunday snap election, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message, hailing the countries’ 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties as a new starting point for a “permanent comprehensive strategic partnership.”
China is also seeing Kazakhstan as a key source of oil and other commodities and the country is also a key part of Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative
Xi met with Tokayev in Kazakhstan in September. The Chinese leader also visited Uzbekistan for a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional framework that includes Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, demonstrating his interest in Central Asia, reported Nikkei Asia.
Kazakh President Tokayev secured a second term in Sunday’s election, winning 81.31 per cent of the vote, The Astana Times reported citing preliminary data from the Central Election Commission (CEC).
According to the CEC, 69.44 per cent, or 8,300,046 citizens out of 11,953,465 eligible voters, participated in the country’s presidential election on November 20.
On Sunday, Tokayev said he will announce a date for the next parliamentary election at the end of 2022. (ANI)