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Kazakh ex-president’s daughter leaves parliament

By AFP
25 February 2022   |   1:13 pm
The oldest daughter of Kazakhstan's ex-president has stepped down from parliament, election authorities said Friday, the latest indicator of the former first family's decline in the oil-rich Central Asian state.

Dariga Nazarbayeva, leader of Kazakhstan’s Asar (All Together) political party and the eldest daughter of the country’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, attends her party’s meeting in Almaty on this March 3, 2004 file photo. TO GO WITH STORY BC-KAZAKHSTAN-DAUGHTER REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov YK/THI

The oldest daughter of Kazakhstan’s ex-president has stepped down from parliament, election authorities said Friday, the latest indicator of the former first family’s decline in the oil-rich Central Asian state.

Kazakhstan was last month rocked by violence that left more than 200 dead and which authorities blamed on “terrorists”, despite compelling evidence of an internal power struggle.

Russia-led troops were sent in to help calm the unrest.

Dariga Nazarbayeva, 58, was once considered a potential successor to her father Nursultan Nazarbayev, who served as head of state for three decades in the vast former Soviet republic before handing power to loyalist Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

But her political demise was confirmed Friday after the Central Election Commission (CEC) accepted her resignation from her parliamentary seat, the body said in a statement.

Nazarbayev, now 81, was widely perceived as calling the shots in the nation of 19 million people until the January crisis that began with peaceful protests over a fuel price hike before descending into armed clashes and looting.

But as clashes between police and government opponents erupted, Tokayev bolstered his position by taking over the chairmanship of the security council — a position that Nazarbayev had held since his retirement.

Nazarbayev appeared publicly nearly two weeks after the violence to deny a rift with Tokayev and claim that he had willingly handed over his remaining positions to his successor.

Tokayev has acknowledged the “psychological” importance of the arrival of a Moscow-led contingent from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which departed the country in mid-January after the crisis settled.