The President of Kazakhstan returned the previous name of the capital

The President of Kazakhstan Kassam-Jomart Tokayev today signed the law to return the former name of the capital of the country – Astana, and thus broke with the legacy of his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev, who in 2019 gave the city the name Nur Sultan, reports AFP, writes BTA.

On its website, the presidency announced that Tokayev had signed the law on constitutional changes, according to which the term of office of the Kazakh head of state was also changed – from five years with the possibility of renewal twice consecutively to seven years without renewal.

Parliament approved the changes yesterday. Today, the presidency of Kazakhstan also issued a decree stating that from the moment of its promulgation, the capital will officially be called Astana.

On September 1, President Tokaev announced his support for changing the mandate to seven years without the right to renewal. He also proposed calling early presidential elections in the fall, but this proposal has not yet been officially confirmed.

Known for its futuristic skyscrapers amid the steppes of northern Kazakhstan, Astana was renamed Nur Sultan in March 2019 after the former head of state stepped down. The rule of Nazarbayev, now 82, from 1991, when the former Soviet republic became independent, until 2019, was authoritarian and characterized by a strong cult of personality.

The new president, 69-year-old Tokayev, who came to power after the surprise resignation of his mentor, has gradually distanced himself from his legacy by undertaking reforms and removing his predecessor’s influential family from key posts in the country. This reversal became even more tangible after the riots in Kazakhstan in January, in which there were many victims. The reasons for these riots remain unclear.


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