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Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to seek second term in snap election
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced in a state-of-the-nation address Thursday that he plans to seek a second term in an early election this fall.
In the speech, Tokayev told the nation that “in order to successfully implement radical and comprehensive reforms on the path towards building a just Kazakhstan, there must be a new mandate of trust from the population.”
He also proposed increasing Kazakhstan’s presidential term limit from five to seven years while at the same time barring presidents from seeking more than one term (the current limit is two terms). The new rule would come into effect after the snap election; the winner of the upcoming vote would still serve for only five years.
In addition to the electoral changes, Tokayev announced that the participants of this year’s January protests will be granted amnesty, with the exception of people charged with committing grave crimes.
“Security officials and strikers are our citizens. They hope that in addition to the courts being fair, society will be forgiving,” he said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced an early set of reforms in March 2022, just months after unrest swept the country. The changes, which were approved by voters in a June referendum, were billed as a movement towards democratizing and limiting the president’s powers, though critics have called them an attempt to strengthen Tokayev’s own power.
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