The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, is set to return to power for another seven years after winning the majority of votes in the country´s election.The electoral commission has announced that Nazarbayev has beaten the four main opposition parties after getting more than 91 percent of the vote. He has been in office in the oil-rich state since 1989, a hold on power that critics say has been with an iron fist. The leading opposition candidate, Zharmakhan Toyukbai, made accusations of vote rigging even before the pollling stations opened, and complained of harassment during the campaign. Kazakhstan, the world’s ninth largest country by land mass, has attracted billions of dollars of Western, Russian and Chinese investment as production from its oil fields grows. The president has dismissed criticism that the minority elite benefit from the country’s oil wealth, while others are left in poverty. Nazerbayev says he is keen to pursue democracy, but it has to suit his people’s needs and way of life. And while international observers say the country is yet to hold an election that is free and fair, people who vote for him say at least he has maintained stability and peace over the past 16 years.
Presidential elections in Kazakhstan; Nazarbayev set for another term