Riot police officers patrol the street on June 10, 2019 in Nur-Sultan, a day after Kazakhstan’s presidential elections.
Vyacheslav Oseledko | AFP | Getty Images
Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has stepped down after a nearly three-decade-long tenure.
His successor, Kassym Jomart-Tokayev, confirmed his position after taking nearly 71% of the vote in Sunday’s election against six other government-approved candidates, according to Foreign Policy. His closest opposition candidate trailed behind with 16.2%.
Though that may seem a sweeping victory for Jomart-Tokayev, the transfer of office has spurred unrest in the country’s capital Nur-Sultan and largest city Almaty.
About 500 protesters were arrested by police, the BBC reported, citing local officials. The demonstration, decrying what protests called a “dictatorship” in the country, is the largest Kazakhstan has seen in recent years.
As protest is not tolerated in the country, the demonstration led to violence in the streets. A BBC correspondent in Nur-Sultan reported people being dragged onto buses by riot police. Many journalists were also detained covering the protest, while social media platforms such as Facebook and Telegram were reportedly inaccessible in the country during that time.
Kazakhstan’s new president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev attends a press briefing after his meeting with Russia’s President at the Kremlin in Moscow on April 3, 2019. (P
Alexander Zemlianichenko | AFP | Getty Images
“This could have been a moment when the leadership turned a page, but instead we are seeing the same well-documented repressive tactics as in the past,” Mihra Rittmann, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, told Foreign Policy.
The transition has been thoroughly planned out by Nazarbayev, as he had been grooming 66-year-old Tokayev to become the new president for three years, according to the BBC.
Despite stepping down from the presidency, life-time “Leader of the Nation” Nazarbayev is set to still be heavily involved in the country’s political future, the BBC said. Nazarbayev is the head of the Security Council for life and remains the chairperson of the ruling Nur-Otan party.
According to the BBC, Nazarbayev joked at a recent party congress, “We are electing a new president, aren’t we? It looks like I am being re-elected.”
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party wins UK election with commanding majority, Sky News reports
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves after a news conference at the European Union leaders summit dominated by Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium October 17, 2019.
Piroschka van de Wouw | Reuters
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has secured a majority in the House of Commons after winning their 326th seat, Sky News reported.
An earlier exit poll had projected that the Conservatives would win 368 seats in Parliament, a gain of 50 seats from the 2017 election. The U.K. pound quickly jumped more than 2% on the news.
After winning his seat in Uxbridge, Johnson said: “At this stage it does look as though this one-nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate, to get Brexit done and not just to get Brexit done but to unite this country and to take it forward.”
Earlier, Jeremy Corbyn announced he will not be leading the U.K.’s opposition Labour party in future elections, following what he called a “disappointing night.”
Speaking on ITV on Friday, Corbyn said Labour will go through a reflection process and that he will lead the party during this period. However, he confirmed that he will not be leading the opposition party in any future election.
“This is obviously a very disappointing night for the Labour Party with the result that we’ve got,” Corbyn said.
The result of the election is expected to have a decisive effect on the direction that Brexit takes, three-and-a-half years since the U.K.’s referendum on EU membership.
Liberal Democratic leader Jo Swinson lost her seat to the Scottish National Party. She had campaigned to overturn the 2016 Brexit vote.
Johnson’s Brexit divorce deal has been agreed to in principle by the U.K. Parliament but is yet to be fully ratified by lawmakers. There have been deep divisions over the deal on offer and how close the U.K. should stay aligned to the EU after its departure from the bloc. The future of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has also been a major sticking point.
The impasse and political chaos in the House of Commons ultimately led to Thursday’s snap general election as Johnson lost the slim majority he held in the U.K.’s lower chamber of Parliament. The vote is the first to be held in the winter months since 1974 and the first December election since 1923.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Johnson has no mandate to take Scotland out of the European Union and demanded that they must be allowed to hold a fresh independence vote on its place in the United Kingdom.
This is a breaking news story, please check back later for more.
—CNBC’s Christine Wang and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this article.
SNP’s Sturgeon says Johnson has no mandate to take Scotland out of EU
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Boris Johnson has no mandate to take Scotland out of the European Union and demanded that they must be allowed to hold a fresh independence vote on its place in the United Kingdom.
In British elections held Thursday, Prime Minister Johnson looks set to win big and remain in power, with early results indicating his Conservative Party has gained a clear majority of parliamentary seats.
Speaking to BBC News, Sturgeon said, “I have a mandate, a fresh, renewed and strengthened mandate to offer the people of Scotland a different future.”
The exit poll, commissioned by Sky news, the BBC and ITV, projected the Scottish National Party (SNP) would win 55 out of 59 seats in Scotland.
Exit polling by Ipsos Mori was released soon after voting stations around the U.K. closed at 10 p.m. London time. It’s a survey of thousands of voters which has been reliably accurate in recent years. The poll projected that the Conservatives would win 368 seats in Parliament, a gain of 50 seats from the 2017 election.
“There is a mandate now to offer the people of Scotland the choice over our own future,” Sturgeon told Sky News on Friday.
“There is a clear desire and endorsement for the notion that Scotland should not be landed with a Boris Johnson government and ripped out of Europe against our own will,” Sturgeon told Sky News.
Reports suggest that Sturgeon is expected to write to Johnson next week asking him for approval to stage a new referendum. According to the Guardian, the prime minister is expected to reject the request.
Scotland, part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years, rejected independence by 10 percentage points in a 2014 referendum.
Forbes 100 most powerful women of 2019
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named the world’s most powerful woman for the ninth year running in a wide-ranging list intended to celebrate the 100 most influential females of this year.
Forbes’ 2019 edition of its World’s Most Powerful Women, released Thursday, marked a return for the German leader, who has made 14 appearances in the list’s 16-year history.
Merkel was joined in the top spots by fellow prominent female political leaders.
Christine Lagarde moved up one place this year to second position after taking over a president of the European Central Bank. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative, Nancy Pelosi, took third place and Ursula Von Der Leyen, president of the European Commission, fourth. The top five was rounded out by General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
This year’s top 100 females list featured women from six categories — business (31), technology (17), finance (12), media & entertainment (14), politics & policy (22) and philanthropy (4). Together, they control or influence more than $2.3 trillion in revenue and oversee nearly 6.5 million employees.
To determine the women’s rank within each category, as well as overall, Forbes applied four metrics: money, media, impact and spheres of influence. The publisher defined power as hard power (currencies and constitutions), dynamic power (audiences, communities and creative influence) and soft power (what leaders do with their influence).
Forbes’ executive vice president and president of ForbesWomen, Moira Forbes, said the list highlights the impressive strides women have made to upend traditional gender stereotypes over the past decade.
“This year’s list of World’s Most Powerful Women is a collection of innovators and instigators who are leading on the world stage to redefine traditional power structures and forge lasting impact in every industry and sphere of influence,” she said.
“As we come to the close of the current decade, our 2019 listees remind us of the huge strides that have been made by women, and the great opportunity they have to define the decade ahead,” Forbes added.
The 2019 list spans seven generations and 32 countries and territories.
Environmental activist and Time’s 2019 Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg, who ranked in 100th place, became the youngest person in the list’s history at the age of 16. She was ranked in 100th place. Queen Elizabeth (40th) was among the eldest.
Other list debuts were made by Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF (15th); Jessica Tan, co-CEO, CIO and COO of Ping An Group (22nd); Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister (34th); and singer/songwriter and entrepreneur Rihanna (61).
Overall, North America accounted for the greatest number of honorees at 50. It was followed by Asia Pacific (21), Europe (23), the Middle East (3), Latin America (2), and Africa (1).
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