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Results of Kazakhstan’s presidential poll expected today

Nazarbayev, who had run the oil-rich former Soviet republic for almost three decades before stepping down in March, and retains sweeping powers, chose the 66-year-old diplomat as his successor, making the outcome of the vote all but certain.

For many of its 12 million registered voters, Tokayev, a former prime minister and foreign minister, was the only familiar face among seven candidates in a brief and uneventful campaign.

Meanwhile hundreds of people protested on Sunday criticising the election as undemocratic. But the smooth transition is positive news for its neighbours Russia and China as well as for foreign energy and mining companies who have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the Central Asian state.

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