2022 Kazakhstan protests

Article

January 20, 2022

The 2022 Kazakhstan protests erupted on January 2 after a sudden sharp increase in gas prices that the Kazakh government says was due to high demand and price fixing. The protests began in the oil city of Janaozen, but quickly spread to other cities,[4] including the largest city, Alma Ata. Growing discontent with the government and former President Nursultan Nazarbayev also influenced larger demonstrations. As there are no popular opposition groups against the Kazakh government, the riots appeared to be organized directly by the citizens. In response, President Kasim-Yomart Tokaev introduced a state of emergency in the Mangystau district and Alma Ata, effective from January 5 to 19. On the same day, the Mamin Cabinet resigned.[5][6][7] The state of emergency was soon extended to the entire country. In response to the unrest, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) – a military alliance of post-Soviet states that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan itself – agreed to deploy peacekeeping troops to Kazakhstan. . On the other hand, former president Nazarbáyev was dismissed as president of the Security Council of Kazakhstan.[8] It has been described by some experts as a color revolution.[9] President Tokayev said that maximum vehicle fuel prices of 50 tenge per liter had been restored for 6 months.[10][11][12] On January 7, he said in a statement: "The constitutional order it has been largely restored in all regions of the country."[13][14][15] He also announced that he had ordered troops to use force if necessary against protesters, whom he called bandits. and terrorists, and that the use of force would continue to "destroy the protests".[16][17][18][19]

Background

During the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan was part of it under the name of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. During the process of dissolution of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan was the last Soviet republic to declare its independence.[20] On January 28, 1993, the Constitution of Kazakhstan was officially approved.[21] Nursultan Nazarbayev, who occupied the position of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan during the last years of the USSR, was chosen in an election where he was the only candidate as the first president of Kazakhstan. In 1999 he founded the Nur Otan party, with a socially conservative[22] and economically liberal ideology.[23] Nazarbáyev was in office between 1990 and 2019, being succeeded by Kasim-Yomart Tokáev, also a member to the Nur Nato party. Kazakhstan has one of the highest performing economies in Central Asia, with oil production accounting for a large percentage of its economic growth until oil prices declined in the mid-2010s.[24] In 2012, the Forum World Economic listed corruption as the biggest problem doing business in the country,[25] while the World Bank listed Kazakhstan as a corruption hotspot, on par with Angola, Bolivia, Venezuela, Kenya, and Libya.[25] 26] In 2013, Aftenposten quoted human rights activist and lawyer Denis Jivaga as saying that there is an "oil fund in Kazakhstan, but nobody knows how the proceeds are spent".[27] Janaozen, an oil-producing town in the Mangystau region, experienced a series of labor strikes and demonstrations. In 2011, a riot broke out in the city in the midst of the 20th anniversary of Independence Day, leading to 16 deaths and 100 injuries according to official figures. Kazakh security forces opened fire on the demonstrators

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