Kazakhstan's Senate, the upper chamber of Kazakhstan's Parliament, has approved Nurtai Abykayev as Chairman of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee, Tengrinews reports.
Kazakhstan's National Security Committee (NSC) is a special state body directly subordinate and accountable to the President of Kazakhstan that is tasked with ensuring security of individuals and the society, constitutional system, state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and developing scientific, technical and defense potential of the country.
The NSC is led by its Chairman, who, according to Kazakhstan's Constitution, is proposed by the President of Kazakhstan and approved by Kazakhstan's Senate.
The need to appoint the Chairman of the NSC emerged following the reelection of Nazarbayev as the President of Kazakhstan. Upon election of the country's president the Constitution prescribes the Government of Kazakhstan, Akims (Mayors) of Almaty, Astana and Oblasts and heads of governmental institutions to resign.
Thus, the main topic discussed by Kazakhstan's senators during the plenary session was Nazarbayev's suggestion to appoint Nurtai Abykayev as the Chairman of Kazakhstan's NSC.
The head of the Presidential Administration Nurlan Nigmatulin presented the proposed chairman to the MPs.
“I believe there are no questions left, everything is clear," the Senate Speaker Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev said after the speech. Kazakhstan's senators know Nurtai Abykayev well, he added.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on International Relations, Defense and Security Ikram Adyrbekov said that this issue was discussed in detail during the committee's meeting. He emphasized that Nurtai Abykayev was a well-known politician, “one of the president's loyal friends, who made an enormous contribution to the country's political stability".
As a result, 39 deputies attending the meeting eventually voted in favor of Nazarbayev's proposal, thus appointing Nurtai Abykayev the Chairman of Kazakhstan's NSC.
Nurtai Abykayev was born on May 15, 1947 in Zhambyl in southern Kazakhstan. He graduated from Ural Polytechnic Institute in 1970 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Throughout the 1980s he worked his way up the hierarchy of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, eventually becoming Nazarbayev's aide.
In 1985, Abykayev completed his studies at Almaty-based Higher Party School.
After Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991, he worked in the Presidential Administration until he was named Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1995. He returned to Kazakhstan the next year, and later became the head of the National Security Committee in August 1999.
Abykayev was dismissed from this post at some point later, but then in April 2000 he was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan. In January 2002, he became the head of the Presidential Administration.
Abykayev became the Chairman of the Senate in March 2004. In January 2007, Abykayev was replaced by Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, later being appointed as Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Russia.
In August 2010, he was appointed to lead the NSC again, replacing Adil Shayakhmetov.
Abykayev also serves as the head of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, a meeting of world religious leaders organized by the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana.