The charge of attempted violent seizure of power (under Article 179, meaning changes to the constitutional order through use of media, with a maximum sentence of 17 years and revoked citizenship) is absurd. Karim Massimov could never be the beneficiary of a seizure of power. Under the Constitution, there are ineliminable obstacles to him becoming even an interim President.

If we assume that the purpose of the escalated protests in January was to force President Tokayev to resign, then the three following individuals would have been in line to become interim President:

  1. Head of the Senate – Maulen Ashymbayev, a close ally and protégé of Tokayev.
  2. (if first option refuses) Head of the Mazhilis – Nurlan Nigmatulin, a known close ally of First President Nazarbayev.
  3. (if the first two options refuse) Head of the Government – Askar Mamin, another close Nazarbayev ally without great political aspirations.

The position of Maulen Ashymbayev in the succession line is a very strong obstacle to any suggestion of the attempted removal of President Tokayev from power.

This assessment was conducted by independent analysts. Next chapter coming soon. For more information, view Case Background.