Kazakhstan leader's resignation part of long-term plan: Analysts

He will still wield enormous power as elder statesman, they say

While many were caught off-guard by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev's seemingly abrupt resignation after nearly three decades in power, analysts say the decision was likely part of a carefully crafted plan to maintain control in the long term.

"The legwork for this move has been long in the making and there were some short-term indications this was perhaps in the works," Mr Paul Stronski, a senior fellow for the Russia and Eurasia programme at foreign policy think-tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told The Straits Times.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2019, with the headline 'Kazakh leader's resignation part of long-term plan: Analysts'. Print Edition | Subscribe