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Kazakh Minister Resigns Over Land Privatization Law

ASTANA -- Another Kazakh minister has resigned in the wake of a scandal over a controversial land privatization law.

Kazakhstan’s presidential press service says Agriculture Minister Asylzhan Mamytbekov resigned on May 6, a day after President Nursultan Nazarbaev officially reprimanded him for not being fully fit for his post.

On May 5, Kazakh Economy Minister Erbolat Dosaev resigned along with his deputy just minutes before Nazarbaev announced his decision to impose a moratorium on a controversial plan to privatize state-owned agricultural land.

It was Dosaev who announced the government's plan on March 30 to start selling agricultural land in auctions as of July 1.

Dosaev's announcement caused large public protests in cities and towns across Kazakhstan.

Demonstrators said they feared the auctioning of the land would not be done in a transparent way, inviting corruption.

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