Kazakhstan government resigns

After officials relaxed price limitations on liquefied petroleum gas, protests reached Almaty, the authoritarian country's largest city, in a rare show of opposition.

After officials relaxed price limitations on liquefied petroleum gas, protests reached Almaty, the authoritarian country's largest city, in a rare show of opposition.

Hundreds of demonstrators were pushed out of Almaty's main square late Tuesday with tear gas and stun grenades, and battles raged for hours in the surrounding regions.

The demonstrations shattered the former Soviet republic's reputation as a politically stable and tightly regulated country, which it had leveraged to attract hundreds of billions of dollars.

Early on Wednesday, Tokayev proclaimed a state of emergency in Almaty and the oil-producing western Mangistau province.

Protests began in Mangistau province on Sunday, a day after price limitations on liquefied petroleum gas, a popular automotive fuel, were lifted, causing its price to more than double.

Tokayev told interim cabinet members on Wednesday that LPG price controls should be reinstated and expanded to include gasoline, diesel, and other "socially essential" consumer items.

He also directed the government to draught a personal bankruptcy law, as well as propose freezing utility prices and subsidised rent payments for low-income households.

He said the situation in protest-hit cities and towns was improving after the state of emergency was declared, which imposed a curfew and movement restrictions.