NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – A televised debate between Kazakhstan’s presidential candidates could take place as part of the run-up to the country’s June elections, Information and Social Development Minister Dauren Abaev said on 14 May.

“Most likely, the TV debates will take place. And, most likely, they will be on live television,” Abaev told reporters on the sidelines of a government meeting on 14 May. He did not specify, however, if President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev will take part.

In November 2005, The last televised debates in Kazakhstan took place in November 2005 when four of the five presidential candidates took part. Longtime former President Nursultan Nazarbayev could not take part in the debate because he was on a foreign trip at the time.

The election campaign will run to 8 June, which is a day of silence, prior to the actual election the next day

There are currently seven candidates vying for the presidency, including Tokayev from the ruling Nur Otan party. The other six candidates include Zhambyl Akhmetbekov from the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan; Denya Yespayeva from the Ak Zhol Democratic Party; Amirzhan Kosanov from the Fate of the Nation movement; Toleutai Rakhimbekov, representative of the Auyl party; Amangeldy Taspikhov, representative from the Federation of Trade Unions; Sadybek Tugel from the public association Eagles of the Great Steppe.