With President Nursultan Nazarbayev expected to win reelection easily on April 3, opposition politicians and pundits are looking beyond the vote. Some say the president needs to address personnel issues to ensure the continuation of prevailing political stability.
The snap presidential vote is taking place nearly two years ahead of schedule. Under the current scenario, Nazarbayev would be sworn in for a fresh five-year term in April, just three months ahead of his 71st birthday and nearly 20 years after he became president of independent Kazakhstan in December 1991. He assumed the leadership of the Soviet-era Kazakh republic in 1989.
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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer specializing in Central Asia.