KAZAKHTAN, June 9 (CGTN) -- Kazakhstan's presidential election kicked off on Sunday with seven candidates vying for the top office.

Around 10,000 polling stations were arranged home and abroad, including 65 in 51 foreign countries.

The polls opened at 7:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) and closed at 8:00 p.m. (1400 GMT) in Kazakhstan, results are expected within a week.

The country's electoral commission has registered over a thousand international observers to monitor the voting process.


There are seven candidates: Zhambyl Akhmetbekov, a communist, Amirzhan Kosanov a journalist and opposition politician, Toleutai Rakhimbekov, a scientist, Amangeldy Taspihov, a trade union leader, Dania Yespayeva, a female banker and Sadibek Tugel, a science editor, as well as the incumbent, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

An opinion poll released on Wednesday suggested Tokayev from the ruling Nur Otan party is likely to win 72.9 percent of the vote.

The 65-year-old Tokayev has served as a foreign minister twice and as prime minister from 1999 to 2002.