TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Kazakhstan’s police have detained around 500 people in the country’s capital Nur-Sultan and the city of Almaty on Sunday, during protests against presidential vote.

– World news –

According to Kazakhstan’s Deputy Interior Minister Marat Kozhayev, “several hundred people” gathered in Nur-Sultan and Almaty “at the call of the extremist organization Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan banned by the court.”

Kozhayev said the rallies were not sanctioned.

Nazarbayev stepped down on March 19 after almost 30 years in power and was replaced by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev who called early elections in April.

According to national exit polls, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev received 70.13 percent of the vote, with opposition leader Amirzhan Kosanov coming second with 15.39 percent.

Nazarbayev had led the country since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and was widely-expected to rule until his death. He appointed Tokayev as acting president following his shock resignation in March.