Ally of Kazakhstan's longtime ex-leader wins presidency

Preliminary results show an ally of Kazakhstan's former president has won the presidential election.

The Central Election Commission in this Central Asian country said Monday that Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won nearly 71 percent of the vote with all the ballots counted.

Tokayev became acting president when Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had led the country since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, abruptly stepped down. Shortly after Nazarbayev resigned, Kazakhstan's ruling party nominated Tokayev for presidency in what was largely seen as an orchestrated handover of power.

Sunday's vote was marred a police crackdown on protesters who took to the streets against what they see as a mockery of democracy. Some 500 people were taken into custody after police broke rallies in Kazakhstan's two largest cities.