Kazakhstan: Activists Call For More Protests over Presidential Vote
By Staff, Agencies
Kazakh anti-government activists called on Monday for more protests in the country against what they said was a rigged presidential election result, as police warned they would crack down on any dissent.
Opposition groups circulated messages on social media calling for people to take to the streets on Wednesday, when Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will be inaugurated into the top job previously held by his patron, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The statements came a day after police detained scores of demonstrators in Almaty, the biggest city in the former Soviet republic, when Tokayev’s victory was confirmed.
A series of rallies since Sunday’s vote amounts to the biggest display of public discontent since 2016 when protests forced the authorities to shelve planned land reforms.
The interior ministry said police arrested 200 people on Monday in addition to 500 held a day earlier over protests which are illegal unless explicitly allowed by the government
Officers were out again in Almaty on Tuesday, with several National Guard personnel carrier trucks parked near the focal spot of past demonstrations.
Authorities said the election results were legitimate and blamed the protests on Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan [DVK], a movement led by fugitive former banker and Minister Mukhtar Ablyazov.