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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kazakh Regime Resigns

The entire government of Kazakhstan resigned Tuesday at the demand of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has lost patience with the slow pace of reform, a spokesman at the Kazakhstan Embassy in Moscow said.

Nazarbayev called on the government to quit after expressing dissatisfaction over a report on economic reform presented by Prime Minister Sergei Tereshchenko, Reuters reported.

First Deputy Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, a committed economic reformer, has been appointed acting prime minister. Other ministers will remain in their posts until a new government is formed in the next few days, the president said in a statement to the press, Interfax reported.

"There is no time for hesitation. This must be decided quickly," the president said, criticizing the government for a lack of precise and unified action.

In a statement signed by Tereshchenko, prime minister since 1991, the government said it recognized it had not been able "to bring about timely and effective fulfilment of the program to deepen reform and get out of the crisis," Reuters reported.

Acknowledging there was no alternative to the chosen course of economic reform, the statement said: "Halting and slowing the required changes is dangerous and can only lead to further growth of the crisis in society."

Kazakhstan, a vast oil and gas-rich territory, has been regarded as the most progressive of the former Soviet republics. Nazarbayev has attracted considerable Western investment with his energetic approach to market reform and privatization, but the privatization program has not gone as fast as planned.