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Eurasian integration tops Kazakhstan election campaign

Critics say ex-president's post in Russian-led union pose a threat to independence

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev looks set to win a snap election in Kazakhstan on June 9.   © Reuters

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan/ALMATY -- Kazakhstan's acting president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, looks set to win a snap election in Kazakhstan on June 9 after the country's longtime leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev, resigned on March 19 amid an ongoing political crackdown.

But the election, Kazakhstan's first as an independent country in which Nazarbayev is not a candidate, has managed to clarify the debate over the central Asian country's future, including its membership in the Eurasian Economic Union. The EEU is a Russian-led grouping of former Soviet states. Critics believe Nazarbayev's appointment as honorary chairman opens the door to political integration among its members.

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