September 10, 2018 / 1:32 PM / 14 days ago

Kazakh leader replaces chief of staff

ALMATY, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev dismissed his chief of staff Adilbek Zhaksybekov on Monday, replacing him with the mayor of the capital Astana, Aset Isekeshev.

The new chief of staff, 47, has previously served as a presidential aide and government minister. Nazarbayev has yet to name his replacement as mayor.

Presidential chiefs of staff have wielded significant power under Nazarbayev as gatekeepers to the president, now 78, who has ruled Kazakhstan since 1989, the only Soviet-era leader still in power in an ex-Soviet state.

Nazarbayev’s office said Zhaksybekov, 64, had been dismissed because he had reached retirement age. He was two years into his second stint as chief of staff, having earlier held the post from 2004-2008. His family controls several large businesses, including Tsesnabank, Kazakhstan’s second-biggest lender by assets. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Peter Graff)

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