Austin S. Matthews

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Nursultan Nazarbayev, the only leader Kazakhstan had known since the country gained independence nearly 30 years ago, resigned March 19. During his televised announcement, the longtime autocrat noted his government’s shortcomings in addressing economic problems and expressed desire for a new generation of leadership. Kazakhstan emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 as an independent state but remained tightly controlled by its Communist-era leader, who had served on Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership council.

The country has scheduled a snap election on June 9 to formally elect Nazarbayev’s successor. But leadership change in a dictatorship can often be a difficult, even dangerous, process.…  Seguir leyendo »