A reshuffle sparked by a corruption scandal in Astana has shed some light on the political preferences of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the veteran leader of Kazakhstan.
High-ranking appointments are closely followed by Astana-watchers for clues as to who might eventually succeed Nazarbayev, 75, who has ruled for a quarter of a century.
Akhmetzhan Yesimov, a trusted lieutenant who had been mayor of Almaty, the country’s financial hub, for over seven years, will now head up the organization of the corruption-engulfed EXPO-17.
The choice of Yesimov to clean up the mess at EXPO-17 following embarrassing revelations that officials had been siphoning off millions from funds intended to organize the international fair suggests he still enjoys Nazarbayev’s confidence. That suggests the 64-year-old former mayor is still a frontrunner to succeed Nazarbayev when a transition of power eventually takes place.
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