The government of Kazakhstan has approved the new Corporate Governance Code of the National Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna. The new version of the code doesn’t include any references to the role of Ex-President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Fund Management Council (FMC).
The previous version of the code said that issues related to the governance of the fund must be considered at meetings of the FMC. In turn, the FMC was chaired by the first president – Elbasy (Leader of the Nation). Now any references to him have been removed from the document.
According to Samruk-Kazyna, the changes to item 4 of the code were driven by the intention to avoid duplications because deleted provisions have already been written in the law on the National Wealth Fund, the organization said.
Indeed, the current version of the law still includes these provisions about the GCF.
However, on January 13, 2023, members of the Senate and Mazhilis approved the withdrawal of the law on the first president during their joint meeting. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed this law into effect two days later.
According to the withdrawn law, the Leader of the Nation possessed immunity against any legal actions and couldn’t be detained or prosecuted for decisions he took while he was in office. He couldn’t be searched, arrested or inspected. The ex-president and his family also could rely on constant protection. Once the law was withdrawn, Nazarbayev has no special rights, except those benefits the law guarantees for any ex-president.
Nazarbayev has also lost the title of Honorary Senator he obtained in May 2019 when he officially resigned from the office.
In late January 2023, Vice Minister of Justice Alma Mukanova said that relatives of the ex-president or any other officials have no legal immunity and can be prosecuted if they violate the law.
Even after resigning Nazarbayev was still a very influential politician as he kept the position of the head of the Security Council and chairman of the ruling party Nur Otan (now called Amanat). Later, this position was transferred to President Tokayev, who quickly stepped down as the party chairman in favor of Yerlan Koshanov. Also, Nazarbayev transferred to Tokayev his position as chairman of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan. Tokayev had taken the position of head of the Security Council only after the riot in January 2022.