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President of Kazakhstan accentuates the sidelining of Nursultan Nazarbayev
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President of Kazakhstan accentuates the sidelining of Nursultan Nazarbayev
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Kazakh head of state Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has ousted former president Nursultan Nazarbayev as head of the ruling party. Since the riots in early January in the country, relatives of the former strongman of Kazakhstan have been marginalized.

The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, took the helm of the ruling party on Friday, January 28, cementing his authority in the wake of bloody riots. He thus again dismisses his predecessor, Noursultan Nazarbayev, from a position of influence.

“By decision of the XXI Extraordinary Party Congress, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart (Tokayev), was unanimously elected Chairman of the Nour Otan Party,” the presidency announced on Twitter.

Demonstrations just after the New Year over the cost of fuel had degenerated into riots in Kazakhstan, before a crackdown with live ammunition. These events killed 225 people, according to an official report, and Mr. Tokayev considered that they were the result of a plot of “terrorists” fomented abroad, without ever providing any evidence in this direction.

Nursultan Nazarbayev and his entourage sidelined

In the midst of the crisis, he removed his influential predecessor, the “head of the nation” Nursultan Nazarbayev (1990-2019), from the head of the powerful Security Council and arrested one of his relatives, the head of the intelligence service, Karim Massimov.

The sons-in-law, a nephew and a grandson of the former president have, for their part, been excluded from key positions. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accused those close to the former head of state of having enriched themselves unduly, in this country abounding in hydrocarbons and minerals, plagued by elite corruption and nepotism.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81, has spoken only once since the start of the year, nearly two weeks after the riots, to affirm, from an undetermined location, his allegiance to his successor, saying he is only ‘”a retiree”. He nevertheless retained until Friday the head of the ruling party.

Parliament must also soon decide whether it will lift some of the privileges of former President Nazarbayev, whose capital bears the first name.

With AFP

President of Kazakhstan accentuates the sidelining of Nursultan Nazarbayev
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