Reshuffle in The Government and Akimats


In the first week of September, after the President's address, a series of major reshuffles in the government and regional akimats followed. broke the situation down.

Ecologists and Water Specialists

Changes took place in five departments, two of which were recently created. Thus, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources came into being from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources separated. This thereby highlighted water’s particular importance after this summer’s severe water crisis and drought.

The former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, 33-year old Zulfiya Suleimenova, was removed from her post. Almost twice her senior, Yerlan Nysanbayev, who had been associated with forestry, agriculture and ecology all his life, replaced her. He has worked in relevant structures and in recent months held the position of adviser to Astana’s assistant Akim.

Jambyl region’s former akim, Nurzhan Nurzhigitov, is the newly founded ministry’s head. The region formerly under his supervision turned out to be the driest in the summer after Kyrgyzstan stopped supplying water to Kazakhstan's fields. 

MIID in Two

A new Transport Ministry was formed from the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development, which is now called the Ministry of Industry and Construction. The head of the previous institution, Marat Karabayev, has been appointed to head the transport department. Given distances and new geopolitical realities, the creation of the department is a justified step.

Industry and construction will be handled by Kanat Sharlapayev. Sharlapayev, an ethnic Kazakh born in Russia, worked in the UK and the Russian Federation. Before being appointed minister, he served as Chairman of the Board of JSC National Managing Holding Baiterek. Sharlapayev had two passports – British and Russian. He renounced his other citizenships and became a citizen of Kazakhstan in November 2022.

Culture on The One Hand, Sports and Tourism on The Other

The Ministry of Culture and Sports has also undergone changes. Now state art, museums and libraries will be managed by the Ministry of Culture and Information, headed by political heavyweight Aida Balayeva. She will henceforth be engaged in such ideology and guidance aspects in Kazakhstan, which was previously done by the now retired Askhat Oralov.

Sports and tourism will be handled by a teacher and historian by education – Yermek Marzhikpayev. At the beginning of his career he was a physical education teacher. In 2007, he became an honorary worker of Tourism of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

It was not possible to find out what for, but it can be assumed it may be for the 13–year management of the MCHP (LLP) Bereke-Burabay, which to this day is engaged in "providing services to hotels with restaurants" at a popular resort near Astana. In recent years, he was in charge of the Aqmola region. He brought attention upon himself for serious, sometimes senseless spending of the state budget, in particular, on self-promotion. Infographics

Ministry of Internal Affairs

Marat Akhmetzhanov has been relieved from his position as the head of this key ministry. The reasons for his are not entirely clear. The long-time anti-corruption fighter became the head of the department after Qantar. During his tenure, criminal statistics did not change much.

In Astana, rumor has it that his efforts did not suit the head of state. Former deputy Yerzhan Sadenov replaced him. The native of East Kazakhstan started his career as an operational officer and worked for many years in this region. He later came closer to the capital. He has supervised transport security at the republican level and also worked in the Aqmola region's and Astana's police departments.

Ministry of Trade and Integration

The Minister of Trade and Integration was sent to the post of Deputy Prime Minister. His deputy, Arman Shakkaliev, now heads the department. The latter has diplomas from three Kazakhstani universities with "standardization, certification and metrology", "economic" and “law" degrees.

At the beginning of his career, he dealt with the Ministry of Finance’s insolvent debtors. More recently he had been engaged in technical standards of the Eurasian Economic Commission, that is, coordinated them within the framework of the union with Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

He might have a lot of experience in negotiations, yet conditions have always been dictated by our northern neighbor regardless. Such "standards" are established in the EAEU. His name has also come up in a market context. Literally. In other words, bazaars and rising food prices.

Ministry of Labor and Social Protection

Changes have also occurred in the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. Its former head, Tamara Duissenova, has been given the exclusive assignment of Deputy Prime Minister, a position she has held since June 2023.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection is now headed by Svetlana Zhakupova. She previously spent about three months as the Commissioner for the Rights of socially vulnerable categories of the population under the President.

It should be noted that Zhakupova worked as a senior UN expert for almost three years. She has also held the positions of Vice-Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Development. She is indeed no stranger to this work.

Ministry of Agriculture

Kazakhstan's vital Agriculture Ministry also has a new leader. Yerbol Karashukeyev, who was sent to take charge of the Jambyl region, was succeeded by Aidarbek Saparov. He was born and has lived all his life in an agrarian region –the North Kazakhstan region.

Having specialized in animal husbandry, he is versed in agriculture, as is his brother Altynbek, who was suspected of illegally receiving state subsidies. Aidarbek Saparov has had to explain himself because of relatives for several years. The Prosecutor General's Office’s inspections did not reveal violations - no fault, no punishment. Saparov also made headlines by  stating there is a demand for bricklayers who "can earn up to 90 thousand tenge per day." 

Regional Level

The change of akims to ministers and vice versa required appropriate replacements in the regions. We have already mentioned some of them: ex-head of the Ministry of Agriculture Karashukeyev has gone to Jambyl, while the ex–head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs - Aqmola. Incidentally, Karashukeev studied at a Russian university and began his career as a mechanic at a collective farm in 1991. How the Jambyl region’s new akim multitasked like this, no one knows.

Aqtobe region’s new head is Askhat Shakharov. He is a three time world champion in sambo, Aqtobe’s former akim, and was the Presidential Administration’s state inspector. He replaced Yeraly Tugzhanov, who left people with a sour taste in their mouths after talking with journalist Askhat Niyazov. During an interview, he refused to speak in Russian with the journalist.

The East Kazakhstan Region’s Akim, Daniyal Akhmetov, did the same with Niyazov and was removed from his post. There is also a new Akim of the third most populous city in the country – Shymkent. The two candidates ended up being Rashid Mynbayev and Gabit Syzdykbekov. 19 maslikhat deputies out of 29 voted for the latter.

National Bank and AP

Timur Suleimenov replaced Galymzhan Pirmatov. Pirmatov was the bank's Chairman for eight months. The National Bank has been tasked with reducing inflation, developing financial technologies, and launching the national payment system next year.

The structure of the Presidential Administration has also been updated. Kanat Bozumbayev has returned to the political arena. Over the years, he worked in the Ministry of Economy and Trade, was Chairman of the Board of KEGOC JSC, the Board of Directors of the Kazakhstan Electric Power Association and the Board of JSC "Kazakhstan Holding for State Asset Management "Samruk". He has also held the position of Akim of the Jambyl, Pavlodar and Almaty regions. From 2016 to 2019, he worked as the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

During his tenure in the Almaty region, Kanat Bozumbayev advocated the construction of a nuclear power plant. Then, in addition to Balkhash, the territory along the Irtysh was considered as a location. 

Nurmukhamed Baigarayev briefly held the position of the President’s press secretary. He had previously been the deputy press secretary of the country's leader. He has also worked as the editor–in-chief of the newspaper "Aikyn". His predecessor, Ruslan Zheldibay, became Assistant to the President for Internal Policy and Communications. Berik Uali later replaced Nurmukhamed Baigarayev.

Aizhan Shainazarova became the head of the Department of Internal Policy. Her predecessor, Tlep Bolat Anapiyauly, had been dismissed.

Original Author: Maksim Skopin

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original article in Russian for accuracy. The article was published on 08/09/2023, information has been updated to reflect the current situation.

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