Kazakhstan has new head of National Security Committee

On Dec. 7, Kazakh National Security Committee (NSC) President Amangeldy...

Madi Asanov

2009-12-11

On Dec. 7, Kazakh National Security Committee President Amangeldy Shabdarbayev tendered his resignation, which was accepted by President Nazarbayev, who named NSC’s first deputy president, Adil Shayahmetov, to the position. The Senate confirmed his appointment on Dec. 9. Shabdarbayev will now act as an advisor to the head of state.

Most commentators link the NSC chief’s resignation with the scandalous inter-departmental battles waged by his subordinates with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Financial Police.

Freedom Radio reported that “the disputes came to a head with the arrest by Almaty NSC officers of first deputy head of the Almaty Financial Police Department Aydin Zhanteleyev. Criminal proceedings were then initiated against the NSC investigators.”

The disputes were hushed up by officials, but Erlan Karin, the secretary of the president’s Nur Otan party, acknowledged that conflicts had occurred between the law-enforcement agencies and linked them with internal corruption.

Having replaced his former supervisor as president of the NSC, Shayahmetov stated that he did not believe Shabdarbayev’s resignation had anything to do with the scandals engulfing the security services.

On Dec. 8, at a meeting of the Kazakh Security Council (which coordinates the work of law-enforcement agencies, prosecution authorities and intelligence agencies) held at the president’s Ak Orda residence, the head of state openly expressed dissatisfaction with the work of security officers that he said had become less efficient and needed improvement. “I believe that the Security Council has become less effective of late. There has been a lot of bureaucracy and narrowness of focus. We need to make changes and overhaul the way we do things,” he said.

Implementing this overhaul will be the task of the new president of the NSC. On addressing the senators who had confirmed his appointment, he vowed to repay the trust that had been placed in him and said that together with the highly professional staff of the NSC, he would accomplish the tasks required of his department by society.

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