Kazakhstan’s president has appointed Asqar Mamin as Central Asian nation's new prime minister, days after the government was abruptly sacked.
"The head of state has signed an order to appoint Mamin as the Kazakh prime minister," Nursultan Nazarbaev’s press service said in post to Twitter on February 25.
The announcement came four days after Nazarbaev sacked the previous government for what he described as its failure to raise living standards and diversify the economy away from the energy sector.
The 53-year-old Mamin, who had served as deputy prime minister since 2016, was then appointed as acting prime minister.
The move comes amid growing protests across the country about living conditions for Kazakhs that were sparked by the deaths of five children from one family when their home in Astana burned down.
The tragedy occurred while both parents were working overnight shifts to make ends meet.
The previous government was led by Bakytzhan Sagintaev, whose premiership started in 2016.
Nazarbaev has been in power in energy-rich Kazakhstan since before the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
Rights activists and critics say the 78-year-old leader has suppressed dissent, prolonged his time in office through undemocratic votes, and used the levers of power to neutralize potential political opponents.