The President of Kazakhstan dissolves the cabinet and declares a state of emergency during the turmoil. Protest news

The President of Kazakhstan, Kassim-Jomart Tokayev, disbanded his cabinet and implemented a state of emergency in the country’s largest city and the oil-rich western region. Fuel price increase.

Tokayev said on Wednesday morning that he had accepted the resignation of the cabinet led by Prime Minister Askar Mamin and ordered the acting cabinet to restore price controls on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

He also ordered the acting cabinet to expand price controls on gasoline, diesel and other “socially important” consumer goods.

The move came after a clash between the Almaty police and thousands of protesters who demanded the resignation of the government.

Some of them yelled “old man”—a reference to Tokayev’s still powerful predecessor and mentor, Nursultan Nazarbayev—while others attacked the vehicle. The police used tear gas and stun grenades to prevent a group of protesters from rushing into the mayor’s office.

To quell the unrest, Tokayev implemented a state of emergency in Almaty and Mangisto earlier on Wednesday.

He said these laws will last for two weeks and include a curfew from 11pm (17:00 GMT) to 7am (01:00 GMT), movement restrictions and a ban on mass gatherings.

Tokayev said in a video speech earlier on Tuesday: “It is absolutely illegal to make calls to attack government and military offices.” “The government will not fall, but we want mutual trust and dialogue, not conflict.”

Communication apps Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp cannot be used in Central Asian countries, and two independent media websites covering the protests appear to have been blocked.

After energy prices rise, protesters participate in a rally in Almaty on January 4, 2022 [Abduaziz Madyarov/ AFP]

On January 2, protests broke out in the town of Zhanazoen in the western region of Mangisto on the second day after the government lifted the price cap of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Mangstau relies on relatively cheap liquefied petroleum gas as the main fuel for cars. Agence France-Presse stated that any increase in prices will affect food prices. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, food prices have risen sharply.

Protests quickly spread to Mangystau and other areas of western Kazakhstan, including Aktau, the provincial center, as well as Almaty and the national capital, Nur-Sultan.

Tokayev backtracking

As tensions escalated, Tokayev said on Twitter late on Tuesday that the authorities had decided to reduce the price of LPG in Mangisto “to ensure the stability of the country.”

This has restored the price ceiling of 50 Kazakh tenge (US$0.11) per liter in the western provinces, which is less than half of the market price.

However, independent media reports indicate that the announcement failed to weaken the Zanauchen and Aktau protests. A video shared by Aktau on social media on Tuesday night showed thousands of protesters spending the night in the city center surrounded by police.

According to reports, in Nur Sultan, named in honor of the founding leader Nazarbayev, militants were arrested and small spontaneous demonstrations also occurred.

On Wednesday morning, Tokayev stated that the emergency decree had improved conditions in towns affected by the protests.

At the same time, the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that more than 200 people across the country have been detained for attacking government buildings.

It said 95 police officers were injured, but it did not provide any figures on the injuries of the protesters.

In this country of 19 million people, public protests are illegal unless their organizers submit notice in advance. Radio Free Europe’s reporter Bruce Pennir told Al Jazeera that the demonstrations “surprised everyone, especially It spread so fast”.

“They started to double the price of natural gas for economic reasons, but they quickly looked at people who called for the free election of local officials and called for the removal of high-level government officials from a political perspective,” he said.

Panier stated that the protests will damage the reputation of the Kazakhstan government, which has always been a “quite stable” country, and other Central Asian leaders will pay close attention to the regional impact.

“In fact, Kazakhstan is a stable country in Central Asia. There have been some problems in some countries in the past, which will have a chain reaction.

“And I think all governments in these countries will pay close attention to what actually happened. The only reason is to make sure that they don’t make the mistakes made by the Kazakh authorities. Allowing this situation to get rid of it is just like today.”

Tokayev No political opposition In the parliament, he will take office in 2019.

He was chosen as his successor by Nazarbayev, a close ally of Russian President Putin.

But the 81-year-old Nazarbayev has ruled Kazakhstan since 1989. As the chairman of the Security Council and the “state leader” he retains control of the country-a constitutional role that gives him unique decision-making privileges And immunity from prosecution.



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