Unrivalled Nazarbayev leads presidential election

Election results show Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev maintains his ruling after 26-year of ascendency

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev extended his 26-year of ruling, taking 97.5 percent of the votes on Sunday’s presidential election, according to the country’s Central Election Commission.

Nazarbayev, officially titled “Leader of Nation,” said he was confident, after using his vote on the presidential election which brought no surprise.

His two opponents, a low-profile Communist Party functionary and a loyal ex-regional governor, are both seen as pro-government candidates and could show no threats to his election victory.

Human rights groups have been accusing Nazarbayev of systematically suppressing his opposition in the country and criticising the elections for lacking transparency.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe released a report last Monday, saying reforms were necessary for holding genuine democratic elections have yet to materialise.

The elections had been due to hold in 2016, but Nazarbayev let it be held a year earlier, saying it would be needed for the stability of Kazakhstan, which some described as a move to prevent any successor.

Some 9.5 million people were eligible to vote in the vast country, according to Yulia Kuchinskaya, the head of the Institute of Democracy.

"I congratulate the country on the victory,” said Kuchinskaya.

“Citizens of Kazakhstan have made their choice tying their future to the incumbent president only, with the Leader of the Nation, Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev.”

Kazakhstan, the biggest former Soviet oil producer after Russia, has good relations with neighbouring Russia and China, as well as the United States and the European Union.

TRTWorld and agencies