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Kazakhstan: PM Named Head of Security Services in Shock Reshuffle

In a surprising shakeup of Kazakhstan’s leadership, prime minister Karimov Masimov was on September 8 moved sideways and appointed head of the security services.

In a decree confirming that appointment, President Nursultan Nazarbayev named the up-and-coming Bakytzhan Sagintayev to head up the government, albeit only in an interim capacity for now.

It is not immediately obvious what motivated the personnel shuffle, but the position of Vladimir Zhumakanov, the outgoing head of the National Security Committee, or KNB, has been in question since a spate of fatal shootings in the western city of Aktobe in June.

This spells the end of Masimov’s second stint as prime minister. He served as head of government in 2007 and fill that post until 2012, after which he headed the presidential administration. He was again named prime minister in April 2014.

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Kazakhstan: PM Named Head of Security Services in Shock Reshuffle

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