NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev told a press conference at the Ak Orda Presidential Palace on 10 June that the elections were “open and fair” and vowed to fulfil “a mandate of trust” for the next five years.
According to Tokayev, over 1000 representatives of international missions, as well as about 350 journalists from 40 countries of the world, observed the election process.
The energy-rich Central Asian republic held its first-ever presidential election without the participation of long-time President Nursultan Nazarbayev and saw the current president, Tokayev, from the ruling Nur Otan party win 70.13%, according to an exit poll released shortly after midnight on 10 June.
Tokayev has pledged to deepen cooperation with Kazakhstan’s neighbours. “First of all we need to develop cooperation with our neighbouring states – Russia, China and the Central Asian countries – and, at the same time, I’m very much hopeful about cooperation with other countries,” he said.
He reminded that Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on Good Neighbourly Relations and Alliance in the 21st Century in Yekaterinburg in 2013 and Nazarbayev had worked with Russian Presidents Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and for one tern with Dmitry Medvedev. He noted that cooperation with Russia affects the internal security of Kazakhstan. “Kazakhstan has been a very constructive state in terms of foreign policy,” he said.
He noted that China is a big economy noting that China is part of Kazakhstan’s Silk Road and Eurasia plans. “Energy is very important but not as important as transport links,” Tokayev said.
He stressed the importance on nuclear disarmament. On nuclear energy, he renewed his promise to consult with the local residents and get the approval of the population before Kazakhstan decides on the construction of a nuclear part in the eastern part of the country but added, “A nuclear power part is not on the agenda right now.”
In terms of investment, Tokayev said it is his priority and it was for Kazakhstan’s first president to create a “favourable environment for attracting foreign investment” and send a message to foreign investors that Kazakhstan is a safe country to invest. Tokayev vowed to “go after corruption radically,” noting, “Corruption is a very big problem for our security as well.”
He also promised to channel Kazakhstan’s towards a responsible social policy instead of massive projects.
At the end of the hour-long press conference, which was attended by 107 journalists representing 66 media outlets, including 22 foreign ones, Tokayev thanked all journalists for their great contribution to the coverage of the election process and ensuring its transparency, stressing that such meetings would become regular.