Kazakhstan government resigns after violent protests over fuel price

President orders government to regulate prices of fuel and other 'socially important' goods.



Reuters
Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Wed 5 Jan 2022, 8:01 AM

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accepted the government's resignation on Wednesday, his office said, after violent protests triggered by a fuel price increase rocked the oil-rich Central Asian country.

Police used tear gas and stun grenades late on Tuesday to drive hundreds of protesters out of the main square in Almaty, the former Soviet republic's biggest city, and clashes went on for hours in nearby areas.

Tokayev declared a state of emergency in Almaty and the oil-producing western Mangistau province early on Wednesday and has said that domestic and foreign provocateurs were behind the violence.

The protests began in Mangistau province on Sunday following the lifting of price caps on liquefied petroleum gas, a popular car fuel, a day earlier, after which its price more than doubled.

Speaking to acting cabinet members on Wednesday, Tokayev ordered them and provincial governors to reinstate LPG price controls and broaden them to gasoline, diesel and other "socially important" consumer goods.

He also ordered the government to develop a personal bankruptcy law and consider freezing utilities' prices and subsidising rent payments for poor families.

He said the situation was improving in protest-hit cities and towns after the state of emergency was declared which effected a curfew and movement restrictions.


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