Kazakhstan’s Transition under President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

Despite new president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s lip service to reform, continuity in Kazakhstan is almost certain. The country’s geopolitical orientation and economic model will remain unchanged even as former president Nursultan Nazarbayev gradually steps back from public life.

In our latest macro brief, we examine developments in Kazakhstan, where Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has succeeded Nursultan Nazarbayev as president. We conclude that, despite lip service to reform, Tokayev will stay on the path set by his predecessor, as Nazarbayev retains decisive power. Kazakhstan’s geopolitical alignment and economic orientation are not expected to change in the medium term. In the longer term, we predict that Nazarbayev will gradually step back from public life, ensuring that his relatives retain their privileged positions