Members of the Upper House of the Parliament of Kazakhstan approved amendments to the law on the first president of the republic, which abolished Nursultan Nazarbayev’s life-long chairmanship of the Security Council and the Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan (ANC). In addition, it was decided that it is no longer necessary to coordinate laws that relate to the domestic and foreign policy of the country with Elbasy. This event could be regarded as yet another evidence of the removal of Nazarbayev and his family from power, however, experts interviewed by MK urge not to draw hasty conclusions.
The first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, announced back in April 2021 that he no longer wanted to lead the ANC and would transfer the post of chairman to the current head of the republic, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. In addition, according to Elbasy, on January 6, 2022, he voluntarily handed over the post of head of the Security Council to his successor.
In February, a congress of the ruling Nur-Otan party is to be held, at which Nazarbayev will hand over leadership of this political force to Tokayev. True, this decision was made at the end of 2021, and after the January protests, only the question is being discussed: will the second president agree to lead the party.
Thus, the January protests obviously changed the timetable for the transfer of power from Nazarbayev to Tokayev, but did not break its logic.
“Because of recent events, amendments to the legislation are required. At the same time, it is too early to say whether any assets are being squeezed from the Family or not. Now, if and when this starts, it will be possible to say something definite, but for now we see only personnel changes, – Kazakh political analyst Askar Nursha told MK. what kind of assets are we talking about, and who comes to replace them.
For example, the husband of Nazarbayev’s middle daughter, Timur Kulibayev, again goes to the board of directors of Gazprom … The family is big. Some part loses from the departure of Nursultan Nazarbayev, but perhaps someone wins.
When the CSTO troops were withdrawn from Kazakhstan, and Nazarbayev was nowhere to be seen, many people decided that Tokayev not only gained full power in the country, but would also gradually take away assets from the relatives of his predecessor. Such expectations were reinforced by the fact that the second president began to criticize the richest people in the country (Nazarbayev’s relatives and their “purses”), called for the reform or dissolution of the Samruk Kazyna National Welfare Fund,
and actually liquidated the “ROP Operator” (the company of Elbasy’s youngest daughter Aliya Nazarbayeva came under state control). Two sons-in-law of Elbasy lost their positions in the large energy companies QazaqGaz and KazTransOil: Kairat Sharipbayev (Dariga Nazarbayeva’s “secret husband”) and Dimash Dosanov (Aliya Nazarbayeva’s husband).
It’s just that things haven’t gone any further than that. For example, Dariga Nazarbayeva still controls her media empire, which is built around the Khabar news agency.
Timur Kulibayev (husband of Dinara Nazarbayeva) attended Tokayev’s meeting with businessmen and is generally said to be on good terms with the second president. Nazarbayev’s nephew Samat Abish lost his post as first deputy head of the KNB, but did not go to jail, like his immediate boss Karim Masimov and two other deputy heads of department. Meanwhile, Masimov is confidently turning into a “scapegoat”: he was accused of attempting a coup d’état and, apparently, will be associated with a 20,000-strong army of terrorists that allegedly attacked Alma-Ata.
Abish’s brother Kairat Satybaldy simply fell out of the information space, now it seems that he does not exist, although two weeks ago only the lazy did not tell how Elbasy’s nephew trained the Wahhabi army in the south of Kazakhstan. At the same time, Kairat’s “purse”, one of the richest people in Kazakhstan, Vyacheslav Kim, donated 10 billion tenge (almost $23 million) from his “Kaspi bank” to Tokayev’s new fund “People of Kazakhstan”.
At the same time, Tokayev himself does not say anything that his predecessor would not have said before. In particular, Elbasy regularly called on business to be more humane, demanded to reduce the number of bureaucratic obstacles, supported privatization, and so on.
“Apparently, there was some kind of conspiracy in the ruling elite of Kazakhstan. Some of the positions were left to the Nazarbayev family, and some positions found new owners. This situation does not suit anyone completely. Particularly dissatisfied are the lower classes of Kazakhstani society, which received nothing at all from these reshuffles, – Kazakh political analyst Ainur Kurmanov told MK. – In fact, the ruling elite has not changed. Well, yes, they imprisoned Karim Massimov, several more odious figures lost their posts, but that’s all.
But the main holder of family assets, Timur Kulibayev, remained afloat. For many years, he was both the “gray eminence” in Kazakhstan and the most powerful oligarch in the country. Now he acts as a kind of co-ruler of Tokayev, because he intercepts those assets that were previously owned by other members of the Nazarbayev family.”
Kurmanov noted that the privatization of Samruk Kazyna had long been lobbied by Western investors. The idea was to be implemented within the next 5 years. In turn, the liquidation of the “Operator ROP” will be a sop to the disgruntled regime.
“To the same handout can be attributed less mention of the Nazarbayevs in the news. They go into the shadows so as not to annoy fellow citizens. But since there is no improvement in the socio-economic sphere, Tokayev risks absorbing all the negativity that the Nazarbayevs previously absorbed. After that, the protests will resume,” the expert believes.
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