Kazakh President Takes Party Leadership After Sidelining Mentor

Kazakh president takes party leadership after sidelining mentor

NurSultan, Kazakhstan, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Jan, 2022 ) :Kazakhstan's president was voted chairman of the ruling party Friday, replacing his mentor and former head of state Nursultan Nazarbayev, after a bloody crisis exposed a struggle at the top of the leadership.

"By the decision of the extraordinary XXI Party Congress, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart (Tokayev), was unanimously elected Chairman of the Nur Otan Party," his office said on Twitter.

The move came after unprecedented unrest that left 225 people dead earlier in January.

Tokayev this month questioned 81-year-old Nazarbayev's legacy, in particular widening inequality between the elite and the poor in Central Asia's richest country.

Nazarbayev ruled ex-Soviet Kazakhstan for close to three decades, brooking no opposition, before hand-picking Tokayev, 68, a career diplomat and then-loyalist, to replace him as president in 2019.

The octogenarian last year announced his decision to hand the party leadership over to Tokayev -- a move that seemed to confirm Tokayev would stand for another presidential term even if many thought his predecessor still pulled Kazakhstan's political strings.

Tokayev said during the congress that his chairmanship of the party could be a temporary affair, citing the need for an "equidistant status of the head of state".