Kazakhstanis Demand The Right To Elect Their Representatives
The protests that shook with the country transformed into the political demonstrations.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accepted the government’s resignation on Wednesday, his office said, after a fuel price increase in the oil-rich Central Asian country triggered protests in which nearly 100 police were injured.
But the protests that started on January 2 after the government announced 100 per cent LNG price hike transformed into the political demonstrations.
On January 5, the protests occurred in fourteen cities including capital of Almaty, Karaganda in the centre, Koskhketau in the north east and far-western Zhanaozen.
The protesters stated that the absence of their representatives in the Mejlis, Kazakhstani Parliament, indicates their disinterest. Therefore, they are demanding reform of electoral law.
The people should choose akims of the region and the city! - stated a protester who introduced himself as Zholaman Seilov in an interview with local radio.
We do not need puppets but a person who would take care of people, about their land, he emphasised. We don’t need leaders who cannot solve burning problems!, he added.
The western observers have estimated that, at least, 2-3,000 are protesting in every city. But the real numbers of the demonstrators may be much higher.
Police crackdown on the protests
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.
The protests shook the former Soviet republic’s image as a politically stable and tightly controlled country, which it has used to attract hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign investment in its oil and metals industries over three decades of independence.
Speaking to acting cabinet members, Tokayev ordered them and provincial governors to reinstate LPG price controls and broaden them to gasoline, diesel and other “socially important” consumer goods.