The president of Kazakhstan announced on Sept. 1 his intention to hold extraordinary elections in the country.

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev proposed transforming the system of power. According to his vision, the president can hold office only once during his life, but the term of office will be 7 years. Tokayev emphasized that if innovations are approved, he intends to participate in special elections.

“The political tradition, when the authorities kept their plans secret from the public, must go into the past. Therefore, today I intend to publicly present the schedule of future election campaigns. I propose to hold extraordinary presidential elections in the fall of this year,” announced Tokayev in a statement at a joint meeting of both houses of parliament.

The Kazakh leader emphasized a new mandate of the people’s trust is needed for the successful implementation of radical and comprehensive reforms aimed at building a just Kazakhstan.

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“For me, the interests of the state are above all else. Therefore, I am ready to go to early presidential elections, despite the reduction of my own term of office. In addition, after much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that a review of the number and length of presidential terms is overdue,” Tokayev explained.

In addition, during his address, the president declared an amnesty for the participants of the January protests. He also suggested considering the introduction of a luxury tax and expanding the powers of municipal authorities, that is, decentralization.

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The ideas voiced by Tokayev indicate the beginning of irreversible processes of democratization. From this it follows that Tokayev is increasingly showing Russian President Vladimir Putin that Kazakhstan is not afraid of Russia and intends to completely distance itself.

Previously, on August 16, Minister of Education Askhat Aimagambetov announced that the authorities of Kazakhstan canceled the simultaneous study of three languages for first-graders from the new academic year.

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Thus, beginning with the first grade, children will learn only Kazakh, “because in order to learn Russian and English, they first need to learn to read and write in their native language”.

Moreover, on August 24, The Wall Street Journal published an article which said that Kazakhstan has begun to move away from Moscow, strengthen its own army and strengthen defense ties with China and Turkey.

The publication notes that Kazakhstan has promised to join Western sanctions against Moscow and increase oil exports to Europe via routes bypassing Russia. It has expanded its defense budget and received a US delegation designed to bring this Central Asian country closer to Washington’s orbit. In addition, Nur-Sultan (Astana) is actively strengthening international ties with other regional partners. Tokayev says he intends to reform his own army so that it becomes more mobile and professional, capable of effective confrontation in a hybrid war.

The growing distance between Nur-Sultan and Moscow is a blow to Putin, who for decades has worked to maintain influence over the country by forming military alliances and supporting the political leadership in the capital.

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