(FP) NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan—For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has a new president. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the interim president and hand-picked successor of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Central Asian country’s longtime autocrat, confirmed his position on Sunday in an election where he faced off against six government-approved candidates.
“The government is still entrenched and firmly in power,” said Nargis Kassenova, a Central Asia expert and senior fellow at Harvard University. “At the same time, this campaign has shown that society is changing, and it has exposed just how out of touch those running the country are with their own people.” [...]
“At the moment, we don’t know what exactly is being planned,” Kassenova, the Harvard expert, said. “But whatever plan they have, it will be challenged.”
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