OPINION: Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has secured a second term in Kazakhstan's presidential election, winning 81% of the vote, early data suggests.

No great surprise there, but perhaps more so in the fact that his victory opens the way to an oil-rich country loosening its ties with Russia, its former Soviet Republic partner and patron.

Tokayev has given himself seven more years in power partly by ensuring he was facing only weak opposition candidates and partly by pursuing economic reforms combined with a more self-confident foreign policy.