Kazakhstan’s prime-minister lost struggle for power

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Kasymzhomart Tokayev announced his resignation yesterday; President Nursultan Nazarbayev allowed the resignation paper. According to the republic’s Constitution, resignation of the cabinet is to follow the prime minister’s resignation. No reasons of the resignation have been announced. The prime minister himself says, “new people with new ideas are coming to the posts, that is quite natural, when the presidential power is very strong in the country.” No details as for the names of these new people have been published. More likely, these are the officials who have created a new political organization the other day – “Kazakhstan’s democratic choice”. Last week the prime minister asked President Nazarbayev to dismiss the initiators of the organization’s creation – Vice-premier Uraz Dzhandosov, Labor and Social Protection Minister Alikhan Baimenov, governor of the Pavlodar region Galymzhan Zhakiyanov, Deputy Defense Minister Zhannat Yertlesova. Otherwise the prime minister would resign himself. President Nazarbayev agreed with the proposition.

Almost all leaders of the new organization come from the Semipalatinsk region. The goal of the organization’s creation was to resist to the influence of Nazarbayev’s son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev and his wife Dariga Nazarbayeva. Aliyev holds the post of Nazarbayev’s senior body-guard. Till recently he occupied the second important post in the republic’s National Security Committee. Much has been spoken about attempts at President Nazarbayev recently. Last week Prime Minister Tokayev told, “the terrorists are close to us.” It is not clear, who was meant.

But the situation has taken a rather unexpected turn. It would seem that all demands of Tokayev have been fulfilled, the initiators of the new organization have been dismissed. But it looks as if the president decided to reshuffle the government once again. Perhaps, he did not like Tokayev’s excessive independence. But, more likely, President Nazarbayev decided not to ruin the relations with “Kazakhstan’s democratic choice” and try to take control over the organization. The petition about Tokayev’s resignation can be explained with it.

The situation reveals, another round of struggle for the power has started in Astana. The situation is controlled by the president so far. The future will tell, how the events are to develop.

Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

In the photo: Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev

Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/28/36185.html

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