Kazakhs vote to strip founding determine Nazarbayev of privileges in referendum | Kazakhstan

Kazakhs have overwhelmingly voted for constitutional modifications in a referendum after lethal unrest ended founding chief Nursultan Nazarbayev’s three-decade grip on Central Asia’s richest nation, the election fee says.

“The referendum may be thought of validated,” electoral fee chair Nurlan Abdirov mentioned on Monday, citing preliminary outcomes that 77% of voters had backed the transfer.

It reported a turnout of over 68% in Sunday’s referendum.

The January bloodshed, which grew out of peaceable protests over a spike in automotive gasoline costs, left greater than 230 folks useless and prompted authorities to name in troops from a Russia-led safety bloc.

The drive for a “New Kazakhstan” within the wake of the violence has come from the person that Nazarbayev hand-picked to exchange him as president in 2019, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Tokayev, 69, described the snap referendum as a shift from “super-presidential” rule.

However it’s the absence of particular privileges for 81-year-old Nazarbayev that’s the most eye-catching change to the structure.

Previous to January’s disaster, Tokayev was extensively seen as ruling within the shadow of Nazarbayev and his super-rich kinfolk.

Even after stepping down as president, Nazarbayev retained the constitutional title of “elbasy”, or “chief of the nation” – a task that afforded him affect over policymaking no matter his formal place.

The brand new structure will exclude that standing.

One other modification prevents kinfolk of the president from holding authorities positions – a transparent nod to the affect of Nazarbayev’s household and in-laws, who misplaced highly effective positions within the aftermath of the violence.

Kazakhstan’s New Yr disaster stays poorly understood, with a days-long web shutdown on the peak of the unrest serving to to additional obscure the occasions.

Protests stirred within the oil-producing west over a New Yr gasoline worth hike, however it was Almaty – 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) away – that grew to become the epicentre of armed clashes, looting and arson.

Nur-Sultan, which was known as Astana previous to 2019, remained largely untouched.

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