Nurtai Abykayev Appointed As Head of the National Security Committee

| May 9, 2015

On the 4th of May 2015, the upper chamber of Kazakhstan’s Parliament, the Senate, has approved once again Nurtai Abykayev as the chairman of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee (NSC). The NSC is a special state body that is directly accountable to the President of Kazakhstan, and is tasked with ensuring the security of individuals and society. As well as this, their duties also include security for state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and developing technically the defense potential of the country.

Nurtai Abykayev

Nurtai Abykayev

Kazakhstan Constitution

According to Kazakhstan’s constitution, the NSC is led by its Chairman who is proposed by the President of Kazakhstan, and is approved by Kazakhstan’s senate. Following the reelection of Nazarbayev as the President of Kazakhstan, the need to appoint the Chairman of the NSC has emerged. The Constitution states that upon election of the country’s president, the resignation must take place of the Government of Kazakhstan, as well as the Mayors, and heads of governmental institutions.

Plenary Session

The main topic discussed by Kazakhstan’s senators in the senate, during the plenary session was the appointment by Nazarbayev to set Nurtai Abykayev as Chairman of Kazakhstan’s NSC. The proposed chairman was presented to MPs by Nurlan Nigmatulin, who is the head of the Presidential Administration. After the initial speech the Senate’s Speaker Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev added that he had “no questions left”

Committee Meeting

Ikram Adyrbekov who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee, said that the issue of international relations had now been comprehensively discussed during the committee’s meeting. About Nurtai Abykayev, he emphasized that he was a well known politician as well as one of the president’s most loyal friends, who had already made a large contribution to the political stability and security of the country. 39 of the attending deputies to the committee meeting voted in favour of Nazarbayev’s proposal, resulting in the appointment of Nurtai Abykayev.

Who is Nurtai Abykayev

Nurtai Abykayev was born on May 15th 1947 in southern Kazakhstan in a city called Zhambyl. He graduated from Ural Polytechnical Institute with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1970. It was during the 1980s that Nurtai worked his way up the ranks of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, from there he eventually became an aide to Nazarbayev.

He worked in the Presidential Administration in 1991, after Kazakhstan gained independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He was then given the position as the Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1995. He then returned to Kazakhstan in 1996 and went on to become the head of the National Security Committee in August 1999.

Abykayev was dismissed from this post, but was later appointed as the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan in April 2000. It was then in January 2002 that he took up the position of head of the Presidential Administration. He became the Chairman of the Senate in March 2004, but in January 2007 he was replaced by Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev. It was after this that he was given the position of Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Russia.

Once again in August 2010, he was appointed to lead the NSC, replacing Adil Shayakhmetov who was in the position at the time. Along with his NSC duties, Abykayev also serves as the head of of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. This is a group organized by the Kazakh President himself, Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana.

National Security Committee History

The NSC was originally created in accordance with a law that passed by the Kazakhstan parliament in July 1992. It authorized the establishment of an agency to replace the KGB which was the old national security mechanism of the Soviet Union. To begin with it retained most of the staff that had been employed by the KGB in Kazakhstan, as well as its powers that it held. Bulat Baekenov was its first head, and he had worked for the KJB for over 2 decades.

In the early years of the NSC, it was marked by close cooperation with Russia on the issues such as border security, and against alleged foreign spies, counter intelligence measures. It was in December 1995 that a new presidential decree that was introduced, modified some of the NSC’s powers.

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