NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Presidential elections in Kazakhstan in 2019 are unique for the country as Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev will not take part in the vote as he announced on 19 March that he would retire and Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev was sworn in as president.
Tokayev later announced on 9 April his decision to hold presidential elections exactly two months later on 9 June and stressed that early elections are “absolutely necessary” to remove any uncertainty about the future course of the country’s development.
Tokayev is a candidate for the ruling Nur Otan party.
What is equally important about the upcoming elections if that a record seven different candidates are competing to be Kazakhstan’s next head of state., the largest number of individuals to run for the country’s highest office since it became an independent state during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Amongst the candidates is Dania Espayeva from the Ak Zhol Democratic Party, the first woman to run for the presidency in Kazakhstan’s history.
Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Finance more than doubled the total amount of state funds made available to hold the elections from 4.6 billion tenge ($12 million) in 2015 to a record 9.4 billion tenge ($ 24.6 million) this year.
The citizens of Kazakhstan will wake up early on 9 June, not only to go to the polls, but also to watch the boxing match between Kazakhstan’s star professional boxer, Gennady Golovkin, and Canada’s Steve Rolls in Manhattan at the legendary sports arena, Madison Square Garden. Voters will be able to see the fight on monitors at some polling stations in Nur-Sultan.
“Taking into account the fact that from 7:00 am-10:00 am there will be a long-awaited battle of our famous boxer Golovkin, we’ve organised separate rooms at all the stations outside the voting hall to watch the live broadcast of the battle for citizens,” Deputy Mayor of Nur-Sultan Yerlan Kanalimov said, while also adding that public transport will be free of charge in the capital on election day.
A total of 1,013 observers from international organizations and foreign states have been accredited by the CEC to monitor the elections in Kazakhstan. More than 200 foreign reporters have also been accredited to cover the vote in addition to more than 120 foreign journalists permanently accredited to work in the country, its Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on June 5.
The incoming president will take the oath of office to serve a five-year term within a month from the day of publication of the results of the presidential election. In this case, the Central Election Commission will determine the day of the oath.
Since becoming an independent state 27 and a half years ago, Kazakhstan has held presidential elections in 1991, 1999, 2004, 2011 and 2015.