President Tokayev appoints Aliján Smailov as acting prime minister and decrees a state of emergency in the Mangistau region and the city of Almaty
The President of Kazakhstan, Kasim Jomart Tokayev , has accepted this Wednesday the resignation of the Government of the country and has assigned the vice prime minister, Aliján Smailov, as acting prime minister . Thus, the Kazakh president has accepted the resignation of the hitherto Prime Minister, Askar Mamin, although the rest of the Cabinet will continue to exercise its functions until the creation of a new government team. Tokayev has relied on article 70 of the country's Constitution to make this decision and has announced that this decree will enter into force as of the date of its signature.
Kazakhstan has been the scene in recent days of a series of protests over the increase in the price of liquefied gas which, as of January 1, has become subject to the supply and demand, as previously pointed out by the Ministry of Energy. The first concentrations have been held in Manguistau, in the west of the country, although in the last hours these demonstrations have spread to the neighboring regions of Atirau and western Kazakhstan.
Due to the growing escalation of tensions, President Tokayev has signed this Tuesday – before accepting the resignation of the Government – a decree to establish the state of emergency in the Mangistau region and the city of Almaty. Thus, the Kazakh Presidency has issued a statement in which it points out that this decision is aimed at “guaranteeing public security, restoring public order and protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens.” The decree of state of emergency in Mangistau and Almaty will be in force from this Wednesday until midnight on January 19.
This Tuesday the country's Police have arrested dozens of protesters during a registered protest in the capital, Nursultán. According to a statement from the police agency, the protest would have taken place without prior authorization and has caused rallies in the main squares of the country.