Kazakh ex-leader’s in-laws leave key energy sector jobs after violent unrest

The Central Asian state’s sovereign fund said today, Saturday, that two family members of former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev have resigned from the leadership of state oil and gas shipping companies.

Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s leader for three decades before resigning in 2019, retained sweeping powers until last week, when his successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, took over the presidency of the Security Council from Nazarbayev amid violent turmoil.

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The 81-year-old former leader has not appeared in public since protests erupted on January 4, and Tokayev’s critical comments about him have sparked signs that the two had fallen out before Tokayev sidelined his former patron.

On Saturday, sovereign fund Samruk-Kazyna said in a statement that Kairat Sharipbayev and Dimash Dossanov have resigned as CEO of state-owned oil pipeline company KazTransOil and operator of the QazaqGaz natural gas pipeline, respectively.

Her son said on social media that Sharibaev is married to Dariga Nazarbayev, the eldest daughter of the former president. Neither Sharibbayev nor Dariga Nazarbayeva commented on their relationship. Dusanov is the husband of Aliya Nazarbayev, the youngest daughter of Nazarbayev.

Samruk-Kazyna did not mention the reasons for their resignations.

Tokayev said this week that he wants Nazarbayev’s associates to share their fortune with the public by making regular donations to a new charitable foundation.

Protests erupted last week in the oil-rich country over a jump in car fuel prices in the western province of Mangistu.

On Saturday, authorities said they had detained the deputy energy minister and several other officials they believed were responsible for the “unjustified” price hike.

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