Zamanbek Nurkadilov, who served as Almaty's mayor and then headed the Emergency Situations Ministry before breaking with the government and joining the opposition, was found dead of gunshot wounds in his house on 12 November, according to state television. Police said a pistol was found next to his body.
It remains unclear at this point whether Nurkadilov was murdered or whether he took his own life. An investigation has been launched.
Nurkadilov has been a harsh critic of Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev and members of his family, accusing them of corruption, nepotism, and misuse of power.
Nurkadilov's death comes as Kazakhstan is preparing for presidential elections scheduled for 4 December.