Women Gather At Kazakh President's Palace, Demand Social Reforms
Police formed a cordon in front of Kazakhstan's presidential palace as dozens of women gathered to demand better social benefits. Some broke through police lines in the capital, Nur-Sultan, on June 3 but were quickly forced back. Labor and Social Protection Minister Berdybek Saparbaev asked the women to go into the nearby parliament building, but they refused. They demanded to meet interim President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev and former President Nursultan Nazarbaev to request better housing for families, among other issues. Toqaev is widely expected to win the presidential election on June 9. The vote was called after his close ally, Nazarbaev, resigned in March following nearly three decades in power. Protests have been held across the country after five children from one family died when their home in the capital burned down in February.