Key Takeaways from Kazakhstan's Snap Presidential Elections
Short-Term Risks, Long-Term Challenges & Implications for Businesses
November 24, 2022
Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has easily secured re-election in the country’s snap presidential elections, receiving more than 80% of the popular vote. Held without significant criticism from international observers, the snap presidential race, announced by Tokayev in early September, was largely predictable as the short time for campaigning and the broad electoral coalition behind the incumbent president meant he was short of credible challengers.

In line with recent constitutional amendments, Tokayev has been elected for a seven-year term without the possibility of re-election. The snap presidential vote was likely held to stabilize the political situation and bolster Tokayev's power amid growing geopolitical tension around the country and its domestic economic challenges. Looking towards 2023, the presidential elections are also seen as a rehearsal for upcoming snap parliamentary elections, to be held during the first six months of next year and with crucial implications for the stability of Kazakhstan's political system.

A more balanced political set-up is crucial for improving Kazakhstan’s investment appeal. The successful implementation of previously announced economic reforms may be a necessary precondition, yet they have been deferred until after the parliamentary elections, while these reforms also depend on the presidential team’s ability to put them into practice amid a major personnel shortage. As a result, in the short and medium term, foreign companies may face increasing regulatory uncertainty and a poor level of efficiency within the government structure. Long-term, geopolitical risks and a potential spike in domestic political tensions could also be among the main factors for businesses to consider.

Below, Aretera takes a deeper look at the snap presidential elections and its implications for businesses.
If you would like to schedule a discussion of this paper, please contact:
Daniyar Koshenov, Regional Co-Director, Kazakhstan, Central Asia & South Caucasus at