Kazakhstan.. Thousands of demonstrators in the streets and the presidency imposes a state of emergency and announces the resignation of the government
Today, Wednesday, the Kazakh presidency announced that the government submitted its resignation to President Kassym Gumrat Tokayev, and this came in an attempt to calm the anger of the demonstrators who took to the streets to protest against the rise in prices and government performance.
The Presidency of the Republic published on its website a presidential decree, in which it stated that the President of the Republic accepted the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Askar Mamin, and assigned Ali Khan Ismailov, Deputy Prime Minister, to take care of business pending the formation of a new government.
The decree added that members of the government will continue to perform their job duties until the approval of the formation of the new government, adding that the decree entered into force from the date of President Tokayev’s signature on it.
The Kazakh president ordered the government to control the prices of fuel and basic commodities, and said that the dismissed government bears responsibility for the tension in the country, and that the ministers failed to confront inflation.
The resignation of the government came the day after the president declared a state of emergency in Almaty, the economic capital of the country, after this city in southeastern Kazakhstan witnessed – on Tuesday evening – a huge demonstration, which the police used to disperse sound bombs and tear gas.
Tokayev declared a state of emergency in Almaty and the Mangistau province from today, January 5, until January 19, provided that during this period a night curfew will apply, starting at 11 at night and ending at seven in the morning local time.
Reuters reported that the police arrested more than 200 people after attacking government buildings during the protests, while the Kazakh Interior Ministry said that protesters burned 37 police cars during the demonstrations.
resentment and protest
Messaging apps – Telegram, Signal and WhatsApp – were suspended in the country on Tuesday evening, after thousands of people took to the streets in the oil-rich country to express their dissatisfaction with high prices and government performance.
The protests sparked a rise in gas prices, but the government’s move to cut prices in response to the protesters’ demands did not contribute to allaying their anger.
For its part, the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan explained that the rise in prices is due to the high demand for gas cylinders, which began trading on the Energy Exchange at the beginning of the year.
Following the outbreak of the demonstrations, President Tokayev called for restraint, writing on Twitter that “the demonstrators must be responsible and ready for dialogue.”
He added that directives had been issued to the police to prevent “violations of public order” and said that he had called on the authorities to find a “solution in the interest of both sides.”