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Another relative of Nazarbayev kicked out of office

FILE PHOTO: Timur Kulibayev, chairman of Kazakhstan's National Chamber of Entrepreneurs "Atameken", looks on during a chamber meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan, February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/File Photo

According to the president’s office, Samat Abish, the nephew of former Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, was fired as second-in-command at the National Security Committee on Monday.

The news: Samat Abish is the latest Nazarbayev relative to be fired.

  • Nazarbayev’s millionaire son-in-law, Timur Kulibayev, also quit as chairman of the Central Asian nation’s major business lobby group on Monday.
  • Nazarbayev, 81, who remained Kazakhstan’s most influential leader after stepping down in 2019, has not been seen in public since the start of large protests earlier this month, which turned into the worst upheaval in the country’s post-Soviet history.
  • During the riots, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who had previously renamed Kazakhstan’s capital city after Nazarbayev, took over the latter’s job as chairman of the security council, effectively ending their de facto ruling.
  • At the time, he also nominated a new No. 2 at the National Security Committee, but he did not fire Abish.

What’s going on: Last week, Tokayev stated that people who amassed wealth during Nazarbayev’s three-decade dictatorship must now share it with the public.

  • Two of Nazarbayev’s sons-in-law were removed from prominent posts at national oil and gas pipeline businesses by Kazakhstan’s sovereign fund on Saturday.
  • Kulibayev, who runs Kazakhstan’s largest bank with his wife Halyk, did not say why he was leaving his role at Atameken, a powerful corporate lobbying group.
  • At least 225 people were killed in the upheaval that gripped half of the country earlier this month, forcing Tokayev to seek support from a Russia-led military alliance.

Authorities have detained Karim Masimov, the former head of the National Security Committee, and two of his deputies with treason, claiming that the violence was an attempt at a coup.

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