Kazakh aide names possible successor to Nazarbayev.

25/7 Tass 22

MOSCOW, July 25 (Itar-Tass) —— A senior aide to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev named a potential successor to the long-standing national leader. He is Nazarbayev’s son-in-law Timur Kulibayev, according to presidential political aide Yermukhamet Yertysbayev who is considered to be the ‘gray cardinal” of Kazakh politics.

“In case of an emergency situation caused by a sudden departure of the head of state it is Kulibayev who can continue the strategic course of the president,” Yertysbayev said in an interview with the Kommersant daily published on Monday.

Kulibayev, 44, is married to Nazarbayev’s middle daughter Dinara and currently heads the Samruk Kazyna national welfare fund that generates close to 53% of the Kazakh GDP.

German media reported last week that Nazarbayev underwent a surgery in Germany, but Yertysbayev only said “the president passed a regular medical check.”

“I have recently talked to the head of state. He is the president up to December 2016, he is full of energy and has major plans in the sphere of industrial and innovative development of the country,” the aide said.

However speaking about Kulibayev he described him as “experienced in state-political management.”

Yertysbayev rejected claims of former Energy Minister Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is wanted both in Kazakhstan and Russia and is living in London, that Prime Minister Karim Masimov is the most likely successor to Nazarbayev.

“I know it exactly that he is not even thinking about playing the number 1 role in the country,” the aide said adding Ablyazov is trying to sow discord between friends Masimov and Kulibayev.

“The factor of personal friendship, of the unified presidential team and the absence of major contradictions among the elite irritate Ablyazov… who is dreaming of a palace coup,” Yertysbayev said.

The aide also said it would be desirable for the national parliament to dissolve itself and hold an early election. He suggested the parliament can pass such a decision on September 1 and schedule the election for November.

“I insistently propose to do that. If lawmakers care about the country, the people, modernization, the president, stability, they will pass such a decision. However if the wish to keep their seats up to August 2012 dominates, I do not rule out that in 2012 the developments can go differently and we shall have very much strain,” Yertysbayev said, but did not elaborate.

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