Kazakh leader approves amendments abolishing political powers of founding president

Move comes after power struggle following unrest last month.

Kazakh leader approves amendments abolishing political powers of founding president

Kazakhstan's president on Monday approved amendments to a law which removes the need to consult with founding President Nursultan Nazarbayev on domestic and foreign policy decisions. 

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev approved the amendments to the law concerning the first president in the constitution, according to a statement by the office of the presidency.

The move follows a power struggle between the two men after the nation was gripped by unrest in January over a sudden sharp rise in liquefied natural gas prices following the lifting of a government-enforced price cap.

Based on the amendments, Nazarbayev's "lifetime presiding" powers in the Kazakhstan Security Council and the People's Assembly were abolished.

The article stipulating that state initiatives regarding the country's domestic and foreign policy should be agreed with Nazarbayev was also removed.

On Jan. 28, Tokayev was elected as head of the country’s ruling Nur Otan party during the party’s extraordinary 21st Congress, taking over the post from Nazarbayev.

Nazarbayev announced last November that he would hand over the role to Tokayev.

Nazarbayev, 81, resigned from the presidency in 2019 after ruling the country for nearly 30 years but retained the right to preside over the Kazakhstan Security Council and Kazakhstan People's Assembly for a lifetime.

Hüseyin Demir

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