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Kazakhs Elect Ally of Longtime Leader Nazarbayev as President

  • Leader-for-life seeks managed transition in Central Asia
  • Several hundred protesters turn out in two biggest cities
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev casts his ballot at a polling station during on June 9.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev casts his ballot at a polling station during on June 9. Photographer: Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP via Getty Images
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Kazakhs elected former leader Nursultan Nazarbayev’s favored successor as president, signaling political continuity in Central Asia’s biggest energy producer.

Amid an unusual flare-up of street protests in Kazakhstan’s two biggest cities, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won on Sunday with about 70% of the vote, defeating six other candidates, according to projections on state television based on exit polls.