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An akim (Kazakh: әкім; Kyrgyz: аким; Russian: аким) is the head of a local government in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It is derived from the Arabic word hakim (Arabic: حاكم), which means "ruler" or "governor".
In Kazakhstan, an akim (mayor) is the head of an akimat, a municipal, district, or provincial government (mayorat), and serves as the Presidential representative. Akims of provinces and cities are appointed to the post by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the akims of other administrative and territorial units are appointed or selected to the post in an order defined by the President. He may also dismiss akims from their posts. Powers of akims ends with the introduction into the post of new-elected president of the republic. Thus, the akim continues to fulfill the duties before appointment of corresponding akim by the President of Kazakhstan.
In Kyrgyzstan, an akim is a head of an akimiat (state regional administration).
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