Dariga Nazarbayeva, the eldest daughter of Kazakhstan’s former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has been removed as speaker of the upper house of parliament.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Nazarbayev’s hand-picked successor, had “terminated the powers” of Nazarbayeva, his office said in a statement on Saturday, without offering any other details.
The move came as Kazakhstan’s oil-producing economy reels from the effect of the coronavirus pandemic and could indicate a brewing power struggle in the country.
Nazarbayev, 79, is still widely viewed as Kazakhstan’s top decision-maker despite stepping down from the presidency last year after almost 30 years in power.
Tokayev previously occupied the senate chair position held by Nazarbayeva up until Saturday.
Many analysts had viewed 66-year-old Tokayev as a loyal ally who might make way for a member of the Nazarbayev family at a later date.
Under the Kazakh constitution, the senate speaker is first in line to take the presidency in the event of the incumbent’s resignation or death.