Kazakh fuel price protests lead to government resignation

In Kazakhstan, a protest wave against a sudden and sharp rise in the price of liquidified natural gas as car fuel has resulted in the resignation of the country’s government, American broadcaster Radio Free Europe reports.
The protests first broke out in the western Kazakh region of Mangystau on Sunday, January 2, after people were angered by a sudden, dramatic hike in prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) as car fuel. The protests then spread to cities and towns across the country.
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The protests continued and on Tuesday, January 4, hundreds of protesters tried to storm the mayor’s office in the country’s biggest city, Almaty. Police and security officers used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse protesters on the square after several police cars were set alight.
After initially not supporting the change of the Kazakh government as demanded by protesters, the country’s President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has issued a decree accepting the resignation of the government, which restored the LNG price cap of 50 Kazakh tenge (EUR 0.11) per litre. Toqaev also appointed the current first deputy prime minister, Alikhan Smailov, as interim prime minister, Radio Free Europe reports.