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Kazakhstan goes to the polls in 'low-key' snap presidential election

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euronews.com

Voters in Kazakhstan are casting their ballots Sunday in a snap election that looks likely to return the incumbent president to power, in an election the OSCE has described as "low-key." Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who faced a bloody outburst of unrest early this year and then moved to marginalise some of the Central Asian country's longtime powerful figures, appears certain to win a new term against little-known challengers.Five candidates are on the ballot against Tokayev, but with a short campaign period that began in late October, they have had little opportunity to mount significant challenges.

Tokayev, apparently confident of holding a strong advantage, stayed away from a nationally televised election debate.The election for a seven-year term comes as Tokayev has taken steps to keep Kazakhstan's distance from longtime ally and dominant regional power Russia.

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