Kazakhstan Cabinet resigns after protests over fuel price hike...

Dhaka, Saturday   22 January 2022

Kazakhstan Cabinet resigns after protests over fuel price hike

 International Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 03:53 PM, 5 January 2022  

Kazakhstan former Prime Minister Askar Mamin; Photo: Collected

Kazakhstan former Prime Minister Askar Mamin; Photo: Collected

Violent protests against rising fuel prices in Kazakhstan, an oil-rich Central Asian country, have led to the resignation of the Cabinet led by the prime minister.

On Wednesday (January 5), Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accepted the resignation letter of the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, his office said.

According to Al-Jazeera report, police used tear gas and stern grenades in the efforts to remove protesters from the center of Almaty, the largest city of the former Soviet Union, on Tuesday night. Clashes broke out between police and protesters, and violence broke out in the area for several hours.  

The first protests began on Sunday in the oil-rich western province of Mangistau, the day after the country’s popular car fuel, Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), hiked more than doubled in price on Saturday. Later, protests spread to different parts of the country, including Almaty.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared a state of emergency in various areas, including Almaty and Mangistau, and blamed “local and foreign fuel suppliers” for the violence. Curfews and restrictions on the movement of people are imposed during emergencies.

Separately, the Interior Ministry said protesters, along with Almaty, stormed government buildings in the southern cities of Shymkent and Taraz on Tuesday night.

95 policemen were injured in these incidents. On the other hand, the police arrested more than 200 protesters.

In a meeting with the acting members of the Cabinet, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed them and the provincial governors to bring back the earlier price of LPG. He also directed to restore the prices of gasoline, diesel and other “socially important” consumer goods which had gone up.

He directed that the prices of electricity, gas, water etc. must be kept stable and subsidies must be given to the poor families for payment of rent.

He said the situation in the protesting cities was improving after the state of emergency was declared.

The mayor of Almaty said in a statement addressed to the city’s residents that the situation in the city was under control and that security forces were detaining “instigators and extremists”.