Kazakhstan PM resigns

Karim Masimov has resigned as Kazakhstan's PM after nearly six years.

Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Karim Masimov Picture: AFP/POOL /Ed Jones

ALMATY - Kazakhstan's longest serving prime minister, Karim Masimov, has resigned after nearly six years at the helm of the largest economy in Central Asia, the presidential press service said on Monday.

Masimov, 47, was appointed prime minister in January 2007. A loyalist to President Nursultan Nazarbayev fluent in several languages, he is credited with having maintained economic growth in Kazakhstan through the worst of the global financial crisis.

Nazarbayev accepted his resignation in a decree published on the presidential website, www.akorda.kz.

Masimov was re-installed as prime minister after a parliamentary election in January and identified "macroeconomic stability" as his number one priority.

In an interview with Reuters at the time, he also said more political reforms were needed in Kazakhstan, the second-largest ex-Soviet oil producer after Russia and home to 16.7 million people.

These included encouraging civil society and reforming the justice system.