Opposition Demonstrates For Change In Kazakhstan
Demonstrators gathered in two Kazakh cities on November 9 to call for freedom for political prisoners, a parliamentary republic, and fair elections. One of the rallies, in the capital, Nur-Sultan, was a sanctioned protest, while the second demonstration, in Almaty, was an unauthorized event. Police monitored the unsanctioned demonstration organized by activists from the civic movement Oyan, Qazaqstan (Wake Up, Kazakhstan), but did not intervene. Dozens of activists from the Respublika group gathered at a central park in the capital demonstrating for an end to the authoritarian presidential system, in which Kazakhstan's longtime ruler, Nursultan Nazarbaev, abruptly resigned in March and named Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev his successor. Subsequent presidential elections on June 9, in which Toqaev was declared the winner, fell short of democratic standards according to international observers.