Kazakhstan: Voters strip founding figure Nazarbayev of privileges in referendum

Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Kazakhs have overwhelmingly voted for constitutional changes in a referendum after deadly unrest ended founding leader Nursultan Nazarbayev’s three-decade grip on Central Asia’s richest country, the election commission says. ‘The referendum can be considered validated,’ electoral commission chair Nurlan Abdirov said on Monday, citing preliminary results that 77% of voters had backed the move. … Even after stepping down as president, Nazarbayev retained the constitutional title of ‘elbasy,’ or ‘leader of the nation’ — a role that afforded him influence over policymaking regardless of his formal position. The new constitution will exclude that status. Another amendment prevents relatives of the president from holding government positions — a clear nod to the influence of Nazarbayev’s family and in-laws, who lost powerful positions in the aftermath of the violence.” (06/06/22)