Untangling That Resignation

by Joshua Foust on 1/8/2007 · 2 comments

Even though the news of Kazakh Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov’s surprise resignation is a… umm… surprise, especially given the lame Borat jokes and Cabinet shuffle that will result, it is important to remember that good ol’ Uncle Nazzy still gets to control the country.

What is suspicious about this is the complete lack of motivation: why did Akhmetov resign? Was it really as simple as Nazarbayev’s criticizing? I can’t believe that mere “overspending” would be enough—it’s just too simple. Was his resignation related to the various deals he signed with South Korea late last year? Or the way he stirred up all the oil companies in 2004?

Anyway, I say it’s still a big mystery at this point. But we’ll be keeping out eyes peeled for more news.

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– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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Nathan January 8, 2007 at 9:16 pm

Tony Halpin of The Times had this to say:

The Prime Minister’s removal and the likely elevation of Mr Masimov, who had responsibility for economic strategy, may be Mr Nazarbayev’s way of signalling a change of direction to the foreign community. Mr Masimov, 41, ran a private bank before joining the government.

Sean Roberts has more and better stuff to say.

KZblog January 9, 2007 at 12:55 am

In general, I think he was just tired. It’s already the 3rd or 4th time it’s been intimated that he will step down. I suspect it’s as simple he just finally got a good new offer. Or possibly Masimov did something that made the President very very happy.

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