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Masimov Returns As Kazakh Prime Minister

Incoming Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev has returned Karim Masimov to the post of prime minister.

Earlier on April 2, Serik Akhmetov unexpectedly resigned as head of the cabinet.

No reason has been given for the resignation.

Masimov's appointment was swiftly endorsed by parliament after his name was put forward by Nazarbaev.

Masimov, 49, served as prime minister for six years -- the longest of any prime minister in independent Kazakhstan -- before stepping down in 2012 and becoming head of the presidential office.

His reappointment marks the first time in the history of independent Kazakhstan when a former prime minister has returned to the post.

Masimov, who attended universities in Moscow and Beijing, is regarded as an expert on China and is believed by Kazakh observers to have Kremlin connections.
Based on reporting by Kazinform and Interfax
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