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The Kazakh President’s Departure And What Happens Next

Interim Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev (right) and former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

On March 19, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev appeared on state television and announced he was resigning after almost 30 years as the country's leader.

Nazarbaev was the last of the Soviet-era leaders still in power. His departure seemed sudden to some, but the speed with which the transition and other events were carried out suggested the resignation was planned well in advance.

But why now? And more importantly, what comes next?

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on the topic.

Participating in the discussion from Almaty is Joanna Lillis, veteran reporter on Central Asia for Eurasianet and author of the recent book Dark Shadows: Inside The Secret World Of Kazakhstan.

From the University of Glasgow, we are joined by Luca Anceschi, professor of Central Asian Studies and my co-author on a report that looked at the possibility of Nazarbaev’s resignation.

From Prague, Torokul Doorov, the head of RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service, known locally as Azattyq, takes part, as do I.

Majlis Podcast: The Kazakh President’s Departure And What Happens Next
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About Majlis

Each week, hosts Bruce Pannier and Muhammad Tahir welcome a panel of expert guests to discuss significant political developments and pressing social issues affecting the nations of Central Asia.

Click here to check out the latest Majlis podcast, or visit ITunes.