NUR-SULTAN, January 5. /TASS/. President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his address to the nation said that he is assuming the post of Chairman of the Security Council and was ready for tough action.
"As the head of state, and from today on, Chairman of the Security Council, I intend to act as tough as possible," he said in a televised address on Wednesday. "This is an issue of the security of our citizens, who make numerous requests to me to protect their lives and the lives of their families. This is a question of the security of our state. I am sure the people will support me," he said.
The president said that he will remain in the capital no matter what, and will soon come up with proposals for the political transformation of the country. "Whatever happens, I will stay in the capital. It is my constitutional duty to be with the people. Together we will overcome this dark time in the history of Kazakhstan. We will emerge strong. Soon I will present new proposals for the political transformation of Kazakhstan. I maintain the same position of consistent reforms," he said.
At the same time, according to him, "financially motivated conspirators" are behind the protests in Kazakhstan.
Tokayev's appeal came against the backdrop of ongoing protests in the country over the past four days, which escalated into riots. On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangystau Region, in southwestern Kazakhstan, protesting against high fuel prices. Two days later, the protests engulfed Almaty, in the country’s southeast, where the police used flashbangs to disperse the crowd, as well as other cities, including Atyrau, Aktobe (in the west), Uralsk (in the northwest), Taraz, Shymkent, Kyzylorda (in the south), Karaganda (in the northeast) and even Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan. The president imposed a two-week state of emergency in the Mangystau Region and in the Almaty Region, as well as the republic’s largest city of Almaty and the capital Nur-Sultan. On January 5, the head of the state also accepted the government’s resignation. Its members will continue to perform their tasks until a new cabinet is formed.