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Seven major events of year 2016 in Kazakhstan

27 December 2016 12:57

ASTANA. KAZINFORM With a few days left before the end of 2016 it is high time to take a look back at the passing year. Kazinform remembers Top 7 events of 2016 year in Kazakhstan.

Rotation in the Government

President Nazarbayev appointed Bakytzhan Sagintayev as new Prime Minister of the country. His predecessor Karim Masimov took over the National Security Committee. The personnel reshuffle came unexpected for the public. Sagintayev served as the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development in the past. In different periods of his career Sagintayev had also headed Nur Otan political party, one of the county's regions, as well as the Anti-Monopoly Committee. Askar Mamin and Imangali Tasmagambetov were appointed as Deputy PMs.

Also in 2016 we saw the establishment of new ministries - the Defense and Aerospace Ministry, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Civil Society and the Ministry of Information and Communication. These three agencies are headed by Beibut Atamkulov, Nurlan Yermekbayev and Dauren Abaev respectively. Also after a four-year "break", Kairat Kozhamzharov became re-engaged in the fight against corruption, having assumed the office of the Chairman of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Anti-Corruption. Marat Beketayev was named the Minister of Justice and Kuandyk Bishimbayev became the Minister of National Economy. Speaking about the composition of the Cabinet, the loss of the year should be reminded - former health minister, head of the National Medical Holding Salidat Kairbekova passed away in 2016.

Parliamentary elections

In March 2016, Kazakhstanis cast their votes in early Majilis deputies elections. Six political parties competed for the right to be represented in Parliament this year, however only three have passed the threshold: Nur Otan (82.15%), Ak Zhol Democratic Party of Kazakhstan (7.18%) and the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan (7.14% ). Nurlan Nigmatulin was appointed the Chairman of the Majilis. He had already served as the Speaker of the lower house in the past. In 2014 Nigmatulin took over as the Head of the Executive Office of President. Experts say the dissolution of the Majilis and early elections were meant to counter the threat of destabilization of society in relation to the economic situation.

Land reform

In 2016, President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a moratorium on a number of Land Code provisions, namely extension of agricultural land lease period by foreigners from 10 to 25 years. This provision caused outrage among people, resulting in unauthorized protests. Minister of National Economy Erbolat Dosayev, whose office initiated these amendments, resigned. The President proposed to create a Land Reform Commission. And the moratorium was extended until December 31, 2021.

Terrorist attacks in Aktobe and Almaty

On June 5, 2016 a group of radicals in Aktobe attacked two gun shops and stormed military unit № 6655 of the National Guard of Kazakhstan, which resulted in death and injure of several people. Nursultan Nazarbayev declared June 9, 2016 the day of national mourning. The Aktobe incident resulted in revision of the legislation on combating terrorism and extremism, arms sales, migration and religious associations. The detained terrorists were sentensed to various prison terms.

Second attack, on Almaty on July 18 was also recognized as a terrorist attack. And Ruslan Kulekbaev was recently sentenced to death. Kulekbaev was accused of committing a terrorist act that caused death of eight officers and two civilians and the attempt to murder three civilians. His five accomplices were also sentenced to various prison terms.

Keiki Batyr Skull Return

Another important event of the year is the return of national hero Keiki Batyr's (Nurmagambet Kokembaev) skull to Kazakhstan. In honor of the 125th anniversary of his birth, a bust was installed in Arkalyk town of Kostanay region. The return of the remains from Russia was settled at the highest level by the Prime Ministers of two countries. The legendary hero of 2016 national liberation movement Keiki Batyr will be buried in his birth place near the village of Tasty, Amangeldy district of Kostanay region.

Sensational Olympics and Paralympics medals in 2016

Kazakhstani swimmer Dmitry Balandin for the first time in the history of independent Kazakhstan won a gold medal at the Olympics in 200m breaststroke showing the best time of 2 07:46

In 2016, a 50-year-old swimmer Zulfiya Gabidullina was the first Kazakh Paralympian to win a gold. Six-time world champion, champion of Asian Para Games and a bronze medalist of the world, this time Zulfiya broke the world record in the 100m free-style swimming.

Track-and-field athlete Olga Rypakova also surprised the public with her bronze medal.

In total Kazakhstani athletes won 17 medals at the XXXI Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro:

3 gold medals were grabbed by Nijat Rahimov (weightlifting), Dmitry Balandin (swimming), Daniyar Yeleussinov (boxing). 5 silver medals were awarded to Yeldos Smetov (judo), Zhazira Zhapparkul (weightlifting), boxers Vasiliy Levit, Adilbek Niyazymbetov and Guzel Manyurova (wrestling). 9 bronze medals were won by Otgontsetseg Galbadrah (judo), Farhad Harki, Karina Goricheva and Alexander Zaichikov (weightlifting), Olga Rypakova (track-and-field), Elmira Syzdykova, Ekaterina Larionova (wrestling), Ivan Dychko, Dariga Shakimova (boxing).

25th anniversary of Independence

This year, thousands of events took place under the auspices of the 25th anniversary of Independence of Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev said that 25 years of Independence is an unprecedented and timeless feat of our generation. According to him, three main achievements of Kazakhstan over these years are building a state "from scratch"; building a new capital; and building friendly relations with all our neighbors, as well as securing international borders.

Independence Day was celebrated in all regions of the country and abroad. Nursultan Nazarbayev opened a monument to the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan at the EXPO-town in Astana. Parliament adopted the Declaration of the 25th anniversary of Independence that reflects the main achievements of the country. Also thousands of Kazakhstanis were awarded with "25th Anniversary of Idependence" medals.

In 2016, President Nursultan Nazarbaev signed the law "On amnesty" ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Republic of Kazakhstan's Independence.