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McDonald's suspends operations in Kazakhstan

By Agence France-Presse Published Nov 18, 2022 8:09 am

McDonald's announced Thursday (Nov. 17) it was suspending operations in Kazakhstan due to supply problems as the Central Asian state gears up for an early election this weekend.

A relative of the first Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kairat Boranbayev, runs a McDonald's franchise in Kazakhstan.

On Sunday (Nov. 20), the country will hold a snap presidential vote expected to cement incumbent Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's grip on power, months after deadly unrest shook the nation and left more than 230 people dead.

The McDonald's suspension will come into force on Friday, the Kazakh franchisee of the fast-food chain Food Solutions KZ said, without providing further details. 

Tokayev, who came to power in 2019, has sidelined Nazarbayev after the January unrest, jailing several of the former leader's allies and ousting others from senior positions.

In March, Boranbayev was accused of embezzlement and placed in detention for two months. His current whereabouts were not immediately known on Thursday.

The first McDonald's restaurant in Kazakhstan opened in 2016. Around 2,000 people are employed in 24 McDonald's outlets in the country. (AFP)