Kazakh Leader’s Devolution Offer Raises Doubts

Kazakh Leader’s Devolution Offer Raises Doubts - FT

Soviet-era ruler tested by recession from low oil price and growing dissatisfaction.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed giving Kazakhstan’s rubber-stamp parliament more say in choosing the prime minister and his cabinet, as the ageing leader seeks to prepare the Central Asian nation for political succession.

According to proposed changes to the constitution announced on Thursday, the president would have to consult the Mazhlis, the lower house of parliament, before appointing a candidate for prime minister for confirmation by parliamentary vote. Parliament would also gain the right to hold a vote of no-confidence against the cabinet or individual ministers.


Over the past year Mr Nazarbayev has unsettled senior officials with frequent reshuffles. After changes in the cabinet and senior parliamentary roles last year, high-ranking officials at the pension fund were charged with treason while the economy minister, who had taken office less than a year ago, was sacked on corruption charges.

Mr Nazarbayev has not named a successor. Kassym Jomart Tokayev, the Senate speaker, is his successor according to the constitution but many observers believe that Mr Nazarbayev’s daughter Dariga, a lawmaker, is among the candidates.

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