Protests erupted in the western Kazakh region of Mangystau on January 2 over a sudden, dramatic hike in prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) used in vehicles. The protests then spread to cities and towns across the country.
On the evening of January 4, the government announced it was restoring the price cap of 50 tenge ($0.11) per liter, or less than half the market price, in Mangystau.
Earlier on January 4, hundreds of people calling for lower gas prices and for the government to resign gathered in the central squares of Zhanaozen and Aqtau, the regional administrative center for Mangystau, after demonstrators spent their second night in the area.
Smaller rallies were held in the northern city of Aqtobe, Shymkent in the south, and Oral in the west, in support of the protesters in Mangystau and voice discontent over issues such as corruption, unemployment, and low wages.
In an attempt to calm demonstrators, Toqaev announced that a government commission which includes members of his administration has started working in Aqtau to “find a mutually acceptable solution to the problem that has arisen in the interests of stability in our country.”
With reporting by TASS
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