Kazakhstan cabinet dimissed by President to quell demonstrations
The dismissal comes after the president declared a state of emergency amid protests over surging gas prices.
In an effort to thwart protests following a hike in oil prices, the Kazakhstani President dismissed the country's cabinet on Wednesday.
Yesterday, Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed into law a decree declaring a state of emergency in the west of the country and Almaty, the country's largest city, and the western province of Mangystau in light of demonstrations over surging gas prices.
President Tokayev announced that he would be heading a cabinet meeting on Wednesday to discuss the social and economic condition of the country.
Tokayev accepted the resignation of the cabinet led by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, according to a second decree issued on the presidential website Wednesday morning.
According to the decree, Deputy Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov would be Prime Minister until a new cabinet is established.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades in a bid to break up the thousands-strong protest in Almaty on Tuesday night. The police later opened fire after the protesters refused to disperse, and estimates suggest there are more than 5,000 demonstrators.
The emergency orders will be in effect until January 19, with an overnight curfew for Almaty and Mangystau.
No need for conflict
Tokayev earlier addressed the nation in a Facebook video where he said " The government will not be felled, but we don't need conflict."
Tokayev chose a new deputy chairman of the national security committee to replace Samat Abish, the nephew of Tokayev's predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Nazarbayev appointed Tokayev in 2019, and he was referenced by protestors who chanted "old man out."
The original cause of the protests was a spike in hydrocarbon-rich LPG prices in Mangystau. A government initiative to lower rates was unsuccessful in calming protesters.
According to state agency Khabar, most protestors evacuated the main city center where they protested by Wednesday.
Mangystau relies on relatively inexpensive LPG for car fuel, and price increases would have impacted food costs, which have sharply risen since the pandemic began.