About 700 protesters have been detained during and in the wake to Sunday’s presidential elections in Kazakhstan, currenttime.tv reports.
“500 persons were detained in two cities on the first day, 400 of them were fined. On the second day, the police arrested 200 people, 150 of them have been held liable,” Nurdilda Oraz, a representative of the Kazakhstani Interior Ministry, said.
At the same time, Deputy Interior Minister Marat Kozhaev said that about 200 people detained in Nur Sultan were taken to Akmola and Karaganda regions as the authorities were set to prevent ‘crowding’.
According to the top official, some of them were penalized under administrative law, i.e they got fines or jail sentences.
On June 9-10, thousands of people took to the streets in Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shimkent. The police used tear gas referring to the fact that the protesters had allegedly injured three officers. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan claims that only ‘participants of anti-social movements’ were detained, and the officers did not resort to special means.
The detainees were protesting against Nazarbayev’s hand-picked successor Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev being elected president. 70,76% of voters cast their ballots for him, the country’s Central Election Commission reports.
After three decades in power, Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned on March, 19 and appointed his close associate Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan, Acting President. Later, he proposed to nominate Tokayev for presidency.
Interestingly, Dariga Nazarbayeva, the retired leader’s daughter and ex-Head of the parliamentary committee on international relations, defense and security, was elected Chairperson of the Senate, the upper house of the Kazakh parliament, in March. Placing Nazarbayeva’s name in nomination has turned to be one of the first decisions taken by Acting President Tokayev after his inauguration.