Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev speaks during a televised address to the nation following the protests triggered by fuel price increase in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Photograph:( Reuters )
Tokayev has announced a five-year moratorium on the increase in salaries of top government officials and regional mayors
As Kazakhstan limps back to normalcy, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has said that situation in the country is "stable" forward a number of initiatives designed to address the current crisis.
Addressing a special session of the Mazhilis of Kazakh Parliament, President Tokayev, "perpetrators of violence took advantage of the genuine discontent of the population with the increase in price for liquefied gas" and the "protests were hijacked by bandits, looters, and armed terrorists, including foreign militants" with the aim of "undermining of the constitutional order, and, ultimately, the seizure of power in Kazakhstan".
The country plunged into a massive crisis as New Year dawned with large-scale violent protests. Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) had sent its peacekeeper to bring order.
The President said, "core mission of the CSTO peacekeeping force has been successfully completed" and a "phased withdrawal from Kazakhstan of the entire CSTO peacekeeping contingent will begin in two days and will take no more than 10 days altogether."
The largest country in terms of land area in Central Asia, Kazakhstan has been stable and peaceful since it declared independence in 1991 from the then Soviet Union.
Highlighting the danger country faced, President pointed out that "at the time of inviting the CSTO contingent" to Kazakhstan the "country was in danger of ceding control over its biggest city, Almaty, to terrorists. If we had lost Almaty, we could have then lost the entire country."
President Tokayev has nominated Alikhan Smailov as the new Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and the lower house has voted Smailov in for the new office.
The new prime minister who has been former finance minister and deputy prime minister, given three weeks to prepare and present the government's action plan for 2022.
As a part of reducing inequity, President Tokayev has announced a five-year moratorium on the increase in salaries of top government officials and regional mayors.
At the same time, the salaries of lower level public sector employees will continue to grow. A fifth package of political reforms will be also be unveiled in September.