Kazakh President Nazarbayev resigns after ruling for three decades

World Wednesday 20/March/2019 10:57 AM
By: Times News Service
Kazakh President Nazarbayev resigns after ruling for three decades

Muscat: Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned in an address to his nation after three decades in power.

"I have made a difficult decision for myself - to resign from the powers of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan," he said.

He will continue to hold a number of positions.

He stated, "Our laws give me the status of the First President - Elbasy (Leader of the Nation). I remain the Chairman of the Security Council, which is vested with serious powers. I remain the Chairman of the Nur Otan party, a member of the Constitutional Council. That is to say, I am staying with you. The concerns of the country and the people remain my concerns."

Kazakhstan's Chair of the Senate Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will take over the presidency on an interim basis, serving until the 2020 presidential election.

Tokayev was praised by Nazarbayev, who said, "Alongside me, he has been working since the first days of independence of Kazakhstan. I know him well. He is an honest, responsible and indispensable person. He fully supports implemented policy inside and outside the country. All programmes were developed and adopted with his participation.I believe that Tokayev is the person we can entrust the governance of Kazakhstan."

Born in 1953, Tokayev is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and previously served as his country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, and Prime Minister. He was also a Deputy Secretary-General of the UN.

Tokayev will be sworn in today during a joint session of parliament.

The announcement marks a major change in the Central Asian country, which has been led by Nazarbayev since 1989. He has been the only person to lead the nation since it gained independence after the fall of the Soviet Union. Over the years, Kazakhstan gained a reputation for its massive amount of natural resources, denuclearisation policies, and efforts to promote peace in the region and beyond.