Kazakh ruling party leader hints PM may retain job

FILE PHOTO: Kazakh Prime Minister Mamin attends a digital economy forum in Almaty

ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin may keep his job despite his cabinet’s imminent resignation following a parliamentary election, powerful ruling party leader Nursultan Nazarbayev indicated on Thursday.

Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan party swept the Jan. 10 vote to retain control over the lower house. Under the constitution, parliamentary elections automatically trigger the government’s resignation and a new prime minister must be nominated by the president and approved by the lower house.

Addressing his party on Thursday, Nazarbayev called for continuity in government policies.

“If President (Kassym-Jomart Tokayev) nominates Askar Mamin, I would ask the faction to support him,” his office quoted him as saying. The president was picked by Nazarbayev.

Kazakhstan’s newly-elected lower house will open its first session on Friday.

Nazarbayev served as the former Soviet republic’s president for almost three decades until resigning in 2019. In addition to Nur Otan leadership, he remains head of the national security council.

His comments indicate there are likely to be few changes in the cabinet, including ministries interacting with foreign companies that have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the Kazakh energy and mining sectors

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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