Exit polls point out that greater than 70 % of Kazakh voters who participated in a constitutional referendum on June 5 favored the modifications it proposed.
The Institute for Complete Social Analysis mentioned its ballot indicated the amendments have been authorized by 76.7 % of voters, whereas the analysis institute Kogamdyk piki mentioned that in line with its exit ballot 74.8 % have been in favor.
The Eurasian Monitoring Middle for Analytical Analysis reported that 76.7 % voted in favor of the amendments.
Officers mentioned after polls closed throughout the nation that turnout was 68 %. The determine doesn’t have in mind votes forged by Kazakhs overseas.
In an effort to be adopted, greater than 50 % of voters in not less than 12 of the nation’s 17 areas should forged ballots in favor of the amendments.
President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has mentioned the referendum will shift the nation from a “super-presidential type of authorities to a presidential republic with a robust parliament.”
The referendum on some 56 proposed modifications to the structure got here after the nation was rocked by lethal unrest in January that ended the longtime grip on energy of the Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbaev.
Nazarbaev handpicked Toqaev to be his successor after he resigned in 2019. The referendum was seen as an try by Toqaev, 69, to formalize Nazarbaev’s “retirement” and guarantee his departure from the political scene.
Nazarbaev, 81, voted within the capital, Nur-Sultan. He was seen in a brief video dropping his poll into the poll field and leaving the polling station with a wave of his hand, however with no remark to reporters.
Authorities opponents had referred to as on Toqaev to postpone the referendum, saying folks had not been given sufficient time to check the proposals. Others mentioned the voting needs to be canceled altogether.
WATCH: Opposition activists chanted slogans at a polling station in Almaty. Supporters of the unregistered, opposition Democratic Social gathering demonstrated whereas casting ballots, calling for the discharge of detained celebration chief Zhanbolat Mamai.
Police in Almaty detained Kazakh activist Darkhan Sharipov, who protested towards the referendum, which he mentioned would solely obtain “partial reforms, not political ones.”
In some cities and districts within the Qaraghandy area, the place an RFE/RL reporter visited polling stations and talked with folks within the streets, not the entire residents understood precisely what they have been voting for and what particularly would change within the structure.
In Prishakhtinsk, a suburb of Qaraghandy, among the voters requested members of the fee to acquaint them with the amendments.
Ksenia Sinitsyna, secretary of polling station 120, informed RFE/RL that voters have been supplied with info, together with in printed type, and their questions have been answered. Some voters took the printouts dwelling to check them after which returned to vote, Sinitsyna mentioned.
The modifications would bar the nation’s president from being a member of a political celebration whereas holding workplace. Maybe much more importantly, kinfolk of the president wouldn’t be allowed to carry any key positions within the public sector.
That measure is seen as an try to stop the unbelievable depth of nepotism that occurred beneath Nazarbaev.
The variety of Senate members appointed by the president can be diminished from the present 15 to 10.
However the president would keep the precise to nominate the prime minister, the cupboard members, the prosecutor-general, the safety chief, the heads of the Nationwide Financial institution, and the Central Election Fee together with a number of different key posts.
The chief govt would additionally retain the ability to nominate provincial governors and the mayors of cities, together with the capital, regardless of widespread calls from public activists for governors and mayors to be elected by voters.
The fitting to nominate highly effective regional governors is seen as an essential political software for the president, as governors can be utilized to swing an election by controlling the voting course of within the authoritarian nation the place worldwide observers say free and truthful elections should not held.
The one who stands to lose probably the most if the referendum is authorized is Nazarbaev, who led Kazakhstan from 1990 till 2019 and loved important political sway as ex-president till the bloody nationwide unrest in January that left not less than 238 folks lifeless.
The revised structure removes all references to Nazarbaev as “elbasy” (chief of the nation), which might cement his fall from grace that started with calls for by anti-government protesters to finish his household’s grip on the nation’s politics and riches.
Nazarbaev and his shut kinfolk would additionally lose their lifelong immunity from prosecution if the referendum is authorized.
The constitutional overhaul would cut back the quantity or lawmakers within the Mazhilis, or decrease home of parliament, to 98 from the present 107 members.
The Senate would additionally lose its energy to make new legal guidelines however would vote on payments handed by the Mazhilis and in addition to vote to verify nominations for prosecutor-general, safety chief, and different key positions submitted by the president.
Many analysts have seen the referendum as a bid by Toqaev to organize for the following presidential election, scheduled for 2024.
Some observers reported irregularities, in line with RFE/RL. Within the western area, an observer reported that the ballots have been within the poll field earlier than the beginning of voting, and RFE/RL reporters have been barred from reporting from some polling stations.
Kazakhstan has been rated “not free” by the U.S.-based NGO Freedom Home, which has mentioned its “parliamentary and presidential elections are neither free nor truthful, and main events exhibit continued loyalty to the federal government.”