Protests in Kazakhstan over gas price hikes lead to government resignation



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The president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokáyev, ceased his government and decreed a state of emergency to the city of Almaty and the province of Mangystau before the massive demonstrations caused by the increase in gas prices.

The Protests in Kazakhstan led Tokayev to remove Prime Minister Askar Mamin this Wednesday and his Cabinet and to assume command of the Security Council that until now was headed by Nursultán Nazarbayev, the man who has controlled power since independence in 1991.

“In connection with the worsening of the situation in order to guarantee public security, restore public order and protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed decrees on the introduction of a state of emergency in Mangistau region and the city of Almaty ”, details the Presidency.

“As head of state and as of today, as president of the Security Council, I intend to act with the utmost firmness,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev alerted the nation in a message.

During the last days, Thousands of citizens mobilized in the city of Almaty, where there were cases of attacks by the public force against protesters through the use of tear gas and stun grenades, as well as burning vehicles and tires on main roads.

Given this, the head of state explained that gas prices are measured based on supply and demand in electronic exchanges, at the same time he asked the Minister of Energy to chair a commission to review the issue and take measures promptly.

According to international media, more than 200 people were arrested in the demonstrations in Kazakhstan for “disturbance of public order” and 95 policemen were injured, informed the Ministry of the Interior.

The state of emergency decreed by Tokáyev entered into force on Wednesday until January 19 and it will imply the imposition of a curfew in both territories from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Previously, the president had addressed the population in a video posted on social networks to ask for “prudence” and “not to give in to provocations”, while dozens of users claimed that the messaging services of WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal did not work.

According to media, like the Spanish newspaper El País, the authorities decided to hide the social outbreak at the same time that they deployed more police and military. Despite the government cutting off internet and mobile phone services, new images still appear on social media with the arrival of military trucks in different cities and clashes with the population. What’s more, The broadcast of several televisions was suspended, such as Jabar 24 and Kanal 31.

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