Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

New PM Picks Up Where Predecessor Left Off

By News Briefing Central Asia
The appointment of a new Kazak prime minister will not lead to radical political changes, according to NBCentralAsia observers. More likely, they say, is that the new cabinet of ministers will continue with the programmes initiated by the former government.

Karim Masimov, the former deputy prime minister, was appointed on January 10, and the following day named his new cabinet members. He said their main task is to achieve Nazarbaev’s goal of making Kazakstan one of the world’s 50 most competitive countries.

Kazakstan-based political scientists suggest that the new government will also continue implementing other strategic tasks developed under Masimov’s predecessor Danial Akhmetov.

“I see nothing new in the change of the government, just continuity,” said NBCentral Asia analyst Eduard Poletaev.

Reducing Kazakstan’s economic reliance on mineral resources and local administrative reforms are the most difficult tasks ahead for Masimov.

Political scientist Dosym Satpaev points out that decreasing Kazakstan’s reliance on petro dollars was an area where Akhmetov struggled and says Masimov must do better. “[He] should play a role of mediator to resolve the issue of how to reconcile the interests of quite big and influential mineral resources companies which operate in Kazakstan and those of the state itself,” said Satpaev.

Poletaev also suggests the new government focus its attention on developing economic sectors that are not based on mineral resources.

“Kazakstan’s economy is tied to the dollar, so there is a clear necessity to diversify Kazakstan’s export products,” said Poletaev. “This is exactly the task for Kazakstan’s new government and especially for the new prime minister.”

Satpaev says political reforms will also be key. “Very often the implementation of good economic programmes has been hampered at the local level,” he said. “Without this reform…the realisation of all social and economic programmes will be impeded causing public disappointment, parliamentary criticism and the presidential discontent.”

(News Briefing Central Asia draws comment and analysis from a broad range of political observers across the region)

More IWPR's Global Voices

Pandemic Highlights Cuban Chaos
Difficulty accessing basic supplies has made it hard to institute social distancing and lockdown measures.
Cuba: Mystery Surrounds Failed Aid Donation
Seeing Cuban Media Through a Gender Lens