Tue, 15 Oct 2019

Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has named a new foreign minister and chief of staff, according to his website.

Toqaev's office on September 18 said Mukhtar Tleuberdi had been named foreign minister, replacing Beibut Atamkulov, who is becoming minister of industry and infrastructure development.

According to the Foreign Ministry website, Tleuberdi has served as first deputy minister of foreign affairs since 2016.

The president's office also said that Krymbek Kusherbaev will leave his post as chief of staff and become secretary of state. He will replace Marat Tazhin, who has been 'transferred to another job,' the office said.

Yerlan Koshanov, previously governor of the Qaraghanda region, was named to replace Kusherbaev as chief of staff.

The brief statements by Toqaev's office did not elaborate on the reasons for the changes.

The 66-year-old Toqaev was inaugurated as president on June 12 amid ongoing arrests of protesters who challenged an election that was marred by what international observers called 'widespread voting irregularities.'

Toqaev was handpicked by former authoritarian President Nursultan Nazarbaev to be his successor. He became interim president in March after Nazarbaev officially stepped down following almost 30 years in power.

Nazarbaev continues to hold many important political positions and still wields considerable power within the energy-rich Central Asian state and inside his political party, Nur-Otan, whose presidential candidate in June was Toqaev.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, Interfax, and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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