Shock resignation by Kazakh leader Nazarbayev not a sudden move, say analysts

Former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev (centre) walks during a swearing-in ceremony as Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is sworn in as Kazakh acting president at a joint session of the houses of parliament in Astana, Kazakhstan on March 20, 2019.
Former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev (centre) walks during a swearing-in ceremony as Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is sworn in as Kazakh acting president at a joint session of the houses of parliament in Astana, Kazakhstan on March 20, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

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 not a sudden move.

Rather, they told the Straits Times it was likely part of a carefully crafted plan that has been in place for years to ensure he remains in control behind the scenes even after formally giving up power.

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