Kazakhstan renamed its capital city in honour of its long-serving former president, just one day after his shock resignation

ShutterstockKazakhstan’s capital Nursultan, formerly called Astana.
  • Kazakhstan has changed the name of its capital city to honour the country’s longtime leader, just 24 hours after his surprise resignation.
  • The city of Astana quickly became “Nursultan” as of Wednesday, after Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned on Tuesday morning after almost 30 years in power.
  • Despite standing down as leader, he will still have influence as head of the governing party and head of the security council.

Kazakhstan has chosen to rename its capital city in tribute to former leader Nursultan Nazarbayev who announced his shock resignation on Tuesday after three decades at the helm.

The city of Astana, meaning “capital” in Kazakh, has now become Nursultan.

“Our capital should bear his name and be named Nursultan,” Kazakhstan’s new leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in a statement.

The country’s parliament signed the name change into law on Wednesday.

The 78-year-old became the Kazakh leader after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

Despite standing down as leader, he will still have influence as head of the country’s governing party, head of the security council, and as “Leader of the Nation.”

“Having voluntarily relinquished duties as President, Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev again showed the entire world his wisdom and leadership as a great politician, committed to democratic values. It is in this capacity that he entered national and world history,” Tokayev said.

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