This is pretty serious news:
Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov will probably leave his post following the creation of a new government, Kazakh president's adviser Yermukamet Yertysbayev told Kazakh republican newspaper Liter.
Speculation has been swirling about the presidential succession for months, and it now seems we are getting a clear signal: Yertysbayev is known as the “president’s nightingale” for his role in cautiously communicating Nazarbayev’s intentions, so his pronouncements carry a lot of weight.
After next month’s presidential elections, Yertysbayev said, “society and especially political elite have substantial expectations of enormous change. A change of prime minister will be a key factor in the upcoming changes.”
In other words Massimov, an economist widely seen as a safe pair of hands, will be shunted aside, apparently in favour of his uninspiring deputy Umirzak Shukeyev. Once touted as a potential successor to the ageing Nazarbayev, it seems that Massimov will now be put out to pasture.
Timur Kulibayev, head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund and already the front-runner in the succession race, is now a pretty surefire bet. Yertysbayev suggested that he would become deputy Prime Minister, as he lacks substantial experience in government – the implication that Shukeyev will keep the seat warm until Kulibayev is ready to ascend to the premiership and, once Nazarbayev goes, the presidency.