Astana, 21 November 2022 (TDI): Kazakhstan held an early presidential election on November 20, 2022. The election featured six candidates, including incumbent President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

This was Kazakhstan’s seventh presidential election since its independence in 1991. Originally, a presidential election was scheduled for 2024, followed by parliamentary elections in 2025.

Tokayev, however, called for early presidential and parliamentary elections in September of this year, claiming that a new mandate was required to maintain the momentum of reforms following a June referendum.

According to recent constitutional amendments, the elected head of state will serve a seven-year term with no right to re-election.

Results of the Election

According to initial data released by the Central Election Commission (CEC) on November 21, the following candidates received votes:

  1. Kassym-Jomart-Tokayev (People’s Coalition) – 81.31%

  2. Zhiguli Dairabayev (Auyl Party) – 3.42%

  3. Karakat Abden (National Alliance of Professional Social Workers) – 2.60%

  4. Meiram Kazhyken (Amanat Commonwealth of Trade Unions) – 2.53%

  5. Nurlan Auesbayev (National Social Democratic Party) – 2.22%

  6. Saltanat Tursynbekova (Qazaq Analary – Dasturge Zhol public association) – 2.12%

  7. “Against all” – 5.8%

Three other organizations; the “Open Society International Institute for Regional Studies,” “The Amanat Party Public Policy Institute,” and “the Institute of Complex Social Research,” exit polls produced similar results.

Voter turnout
  • According to the CEC, 8 300 046 citizens voted, for a voter turnout of 69.44%. There were 11,953,465 registered voters.
  • The Zhetisu region had the highest voter turnout, at 81.42%, while Almaty had the lowest, at 28.72%.
  • Voter turnout abroad was 88.47%, with 11,360 people voting.
  • Voting took place at 10,101 polling stations across the country, including 68 polling stations at Kazakhstan’s 53 diplomatic missions around the world.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s comments on the election  

Following the results of the exit poll, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated the following:

• “The election was conducted legally and fairly.”

• “Candidates were free to travel to the regions, meet with voters, and campaign.” There were no limitations for anyone. Each voter was given the right to choose. As a result, this campaign was fair and transparent.”

• “The authorities will improve the well-being of citizens. To realize all these goals, we need unity.”

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s comments after casting his ballot

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke to the media after casting his ballot. He covered the following topics:

• On the election, Tokayev said: “Today is a very important, historic day. We are voting for a bright future for our country.”

• On changes to the government if elected: “The government will remain in office, but point-by-point changes in the composition of the government and other agencies will of course take place.”

• On parliamentary elections: “I will announce the date of parliamentary elections at the end of the year.”

• On new political parties: “New parties will receive registration, this process is underway. We cannot artificially register parties, violating the law. Of course, we are creating favorable conditions.

• I believe that before the start of the parliamentary elections, several parties will be able to fulfill the proper conditions and get registered. I think it’s in our best interest.”

• On whether seven years would be enough to fulfill all the promises to the people: “I believe that seven years will be enough because this is a long time in the life of any person. The most important thing is that there will be no monopoly on power in our country.”

• On Kazakhstan’s foreign policy: “Kazakhstan must conduct a multi-vector foreign policy. I have said many times that Kazakhstan should be committed to the United Nations Charter and pursue a peaceful foreign policy.”

• About the return of illegally exported money: “The systematic work of the state will continue. A special commission has been created headed by the Prosecutor General.

• I personally supervise the work of this commission. I believe that over time we must adopt a law on the return of illegally exported capital from our country.”

• Media press conference: “If I am elected, a big press conference should be held at the end of the year or early next year.”

International Observers

The Central Election Commission accredited 641 observers from international organizations and foreign states, including the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Furthermore, 254 foreign journalists were authorized to cover the election. Observers from international organizations and foreign states remarked on the election’s high organizational level.