Nur Sultan, Jan 11 (Asia Free Press): The Parliament of Kazakhstan on Tuesday unanimously approved Alikhan Smailov as the new Prime Minister of the country.
Smailov was nominated by President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev before the approval of the Kazakh parliament, according to AKI Press.
Alikhan Smailov has been performing the PM’s duties since January 5, after the government resigned following protest actions in western Kazakhstan.
In Kazakhstan, the protests broke out on January 2, when drivers in the city of Zhanaozen in the country’s oil-rich Mangystau region staged demonstrations against huge price hikes for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which later spread to the city of Aktau.
The protests, which started in Atyrau, Aktobe and Oral, where the country’s petroleum and natural gas reserves are located, spread to other corners of Kazakhstan and turned into public demonstrations.
As the protests spread across the country, Kazakh President Tokayev declared a state of emergency in Almaty and the Mangystau region to maintain public security from Jan. 5–19. He also imposed a curfew in Almaty, the country’s former capital, where thousands of people had taken to the streets.
A few days ago, a Russian-led security alliance like the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) deployed peacekeeping forces in the Central Asian country to help normalise the tense situation following days of violent protests.