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Kazakhstan’s President Tokayev consolidates power as old warhorse Nazarbayev’s star further wanes

Tokayev has ensured that Nazarbayev does not have to stage a humiliating public exit

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has consolidated his power, following a violent rebellion earlier this month, which was quelled with the help of troops belonging to the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).

On Friday, President Tokayev was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the ruling Nur Otan party following the extraordinary 21st   Congress of the Party, the daily Astana Times is reporting.

Analysts point out that apart from tackling the violence, Tokayev was engulfed in a seething power struggle with the country’s veteran ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose power has already been diminished after his ouster from the country’s security council. Nazarbayev loyalist, Karim Massimov, a former Prime Minister, and the country’s security chief has also been sacked and will be tried for treason.

Nevertheless, Tokayev has ensured that Nazarbayev does not have to stage a humiliating public exit. During Friday’s meeting former President Nazarbayev, who headed the party since its foundation in 1999, proposed Tokayev’s name as the party’s chairman. 

“I accept the offer to head the Nur Otan party as we see that our country faces the development challenges. I am committed to start working on the transformation of the party and the consolidation of the society,” said Tokayev. 

Tokayev stressed that as the head of state, he would guarantee open and fair political competition. “My duty is to ensure the coordinated actions of all branches of power and the responsibility of state bodies to the people. This means the President should distance from any parties’ activities. My chairmanship in the party will probably be discussed at the end of this year,” he added.

Tokayev pointed out that the Nur Otan party required restructuring.

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