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Majlis Podcast: The Kazakh President’s Departure And What Happens Next


Interim Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev (right) and former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

On March 19, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev appeared on state television and announced he was resigning after almost 30 years as the country's leader.

Nazarbaev was the last of the Soviet-era leaders still in power. His departure seemed sudden to some, but the speed with which the transition and other events were carried out suggested the resignation was planned well in advance.

But why now? And more importantly, what comes next?

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on the topic.

Participating in the discussion from Almaty is Joanna Lillis, veteran reporter on Central Asia for Eurasianet and author of the recent book Dark Shadows: Inside The Secret World Of Kazakhstan.

From the University of Glasgow, we are joined by Luca Anceschi, professor of Central Asian Studies and my co-author on a report that looked at the possibility of Nazarbaev’s resignation.

From Prague, Torokul Doorov, the head of RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service, known locally as Azattyq, takes part, as do I.

Majlis Podcast: The Kazakh President’s Departure And What Happens Next
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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