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Askar Mamin reappointed as Kazakh prime minister after election

FILE PHOTO: Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin applauds during a digital economy forum attended by officials representing the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev

NUR-SULTAN (Reuters) - Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev nominated Askar Mamin as prime minister on Friday, and the newly elected lower house of parliament swiftly approved his appointment after ruling party leader Nursultan Nazarbayev asked his lawmakers to back Mamin.

Mamin had stepped down after a Jan. 10 parliamentary election, as required by the constitution, after almost two years in office. Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan party swept this month’s vote to retain control over the lower house.

Mamin’s reappointment indicates that radical policy changes are unlikely in the oil- and metals-rich nation that has attracted hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign investment into its energy and mining sectors.

The lower house also reelected Nurlan Nigmatulin, another close ally of Nazarbayev, as its speaker. The latter had served as the country’s president for almost three decades until resigning in 2019, when he nominated Tokayev as successor.

As ruling party leader and chairman of the powerful national security council, Nazarbayev remains very influential in the former Soviet republic of 19 million.

His eldest daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva has been elected to the lower house on the Nur Otan ticket and joined the lower house committee on economic reforms and regional development on Friday.

Reporting by Tamara Vaal; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Catherine Evans and Alex Richardson

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