Kazakhstan govt resigns after violent protests over fuel price

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Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accepted the government’s resignation on Wednesday, his office said, after a fuel price increase in the oil-rich Central Asian country triggered protests in which nearly 100 police were injured.

Police used tear gas and stun grenades late on Tuesday to drive hundreds of protesters out of the main square in Almaty, the former Soviet republic’s biggest city, and clashes resumed on Wednesday.

The protests shook the former Soviet republic’s image as a politically stable and tightly controlled country, which it has used to attract hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign investment in its oil and metals industries over three decades of independence.

Speaking to acting cabinet members, Tokayev ordered them and provincial governors to reinstate LPG price controls and broaden them to gasoline, diesel and other “socially important” consumer goods.

He also ordered the government to develop a personal bankruptcy law and consider freezing utilities’ prices and subsidising rent payments for poor families. — Reuters

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