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Kazakh president becomes party chair after sidelining Nazarbayev

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has replaced his mentor and former head of state Nursultan Nazarbayev as chairman of the governing party. He was unanimously elected by the XXI Party Congress as the Chairman of the Nur Otan Party. This move occurred after unprecedented unrest in the country that left 225 people dead. 

Tokayev had questioned Nazarbayev’s legacy this month, specifically regarding the gap between the elite and poor in the Central Asian country. Nazarbayev had ruled Kazakhstan for almost 30 years and had hand-picked Tokayev to replace him as president. Tokayev softened his criticism of Nazarbayev after accepting his appointment as Chairman.

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