Kazakhs vote to strip founding determine Nazarbayev of privileges in referendum | Kazakhstan

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Kazakhs have overwhelmingly voted for constitutional modifications in a referendum after lethal unrest ended founding chief Nursultan Nazarbayev’s three-decade grip on Central Asia’s richest nation, the election fee says.“The referendum could be thought-about validated,” electoral fee chair Nurlan Abdirov stated on Monday, citing preliminary outcomes that 77% of voters had backed the transfer.It reported a turnout of over 68% in Sunday’s referendum.The January bloodshed, which grew out of peaceable protests over a spike in automotive gasoline costs, left greater than 230 folks lifeless and prompted authorities to name in troops from a Russia-led safety bloc.The drive for a “New Kazakhstan” within the wake of the violence has come from the person that Nazarbayev hand-picked to exchange him as president in 2019, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.Tokayev, 69, described the snap referendum as a shift from “super-presidential” rule.However it’s the absence of particular privileges for 81-year-old Nazarbayev that’s the most eye-catching change to the structure.Previous to January’s disaster, Tokayev was broadly seen as ruling within the shadow of Nazarbayev and his super-rich kinfolk.Even after stepping down as president, Nazarbayev retained the constitutional title of “elbasy”, or “chief of the nation” – a job that afforded him affect over policymaking no matter his formal place.The brand new structure will exclude that standing.One other modification prevents kinfolk of the president from holding authorities positions – a transparent nod to the affect of Nazarbayev’s household and in-laws, who misplaced highly effective positions within the aftermath of the violence.Kazakhstan’s New Yr disaster stays poorly understood, with a days-long web shutdown on the peak of the unrest serving to to additional obscure the occasions.Protests stirred within the oil-producing west over a New Yr gasoline worth hike, nevertheless it was Almaty – 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) away – that turned the epicentre of armed clashes, looting and arson.Nur-Sultan, which was referred to as Astana previous to 2019, remained largely untouched.

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