(FP) Nursultan Nazarbayev has presided over Kazakhstan since 1989. During that span, the president consolidated his grip on power over the media, the economy, and the political process, amassing a slew of of landslide victories for himself and his loyal, rubber stamp legislature. But as the 75-year-old autocrat now enters the twilight of his rule, one question looms large for the fate of the nation of Kazakhstan and its vast oil-wealth: Who, or what, comes after Nazarbayev? […]
“There isn’t any kind of succession system built into place in Kazakhstan. The idea of someone else besides Nazarbayev sitting at the top is unprecedented,” said Eric McGlinchey, associate professor of politics at George Mason University.
“As soon as you identify someone as the successor, then you undercut your own position,” said McGlinchey. “Not saying who will take over after him is a good way for Nazarbayev to keep all sides loyal to him and not face any opposition.”
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