Thursday, 30, November, 2023

Hundreds of people have been arrested in Kazakhstan while protesting against an election that they say will deprive them of a political voice.

Voters have been going to the polls to elect a successor to Nursultan Nazarbayev, the 78-year-old who ruled for three decades before resigning this year.

Poised to take power is Kassym-Jomart Tokayev took over 70% of the vote, according to an exit poll published by a pollster on Sunday evening. His nearest opposition rival Amirzhan Kosanov had around 15%.

The deputy interior minister Marat Kozhayev said three police officers were injured in clashes and 500 demonstrators were taken to police stations. There were no immediate reports on whether charges were being filed.

Tokayev tried to play down the protests. It was the “people’s choice” to protest, though elections should not be a “battlefield”, he said after casting his vote in the capital, Nur-Sultan.

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