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Kazakhstan limits presidential term, renames capital | Politics News


President Tokayev signed a bill to restore the capital’s name to Astana from Nur-Sultan.

The President of Kazakhstan signed a law limiting presidential terms and back to the old name of the capital of the Central Asian country in the latest break with the legacy of its predecessor.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a bill on Saturday extending the presidential term to seven years from the current year and barring any president from running for a second term in office.

Kazakhstan’s parliament unanimously supported the amendments in two readings on Friday.

The bill also restores the capital’s name to Astana. Name has been changed to Nur-Sultan in March 2019, in honor of outgoing President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The change takes effect immediately, according to an executive order on the president’s website.

Astana became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997 when Nazarbayev, who led the country for three decades under the Soviet Union and after gaining independence in 1991, moved there from Almaty.

After his resignation in 2019, Tokayev’s successor moved to naming it Nur-Sultan – in honor of Nazarbayev, who retains immense influence as head of the ruling party and security council. security of the country.

But Tokayev removed him from those posts after deadly unrest in January that was based in part on dissatisfaction with the power that Nazarbayev still held, and announced sweeping reforms.

Since Tokayev took over Nazarbayev in 2019, he has gradually separated himself from the man who ruled the energy-rich nation with an iron fist.

Tokayev introduced reforms and called for “completely new standards for a political system with fair and open rules of the game”.

Riots broke out in the country in January, leaving more than 200 people dead.

The unrest, caused by soaring fuel prices, also reflects widespread dismay over the country’s politics.

Earlier this month, Tokayev called for an early presidential election and announced a move to take back the old name of the country’s capital.

Tokayev had previously said that he would run for the election. It remains unclear whether the new amendments will allow him, but similar constitutional changes in Russia and Belarus have allowed incumbent leaders to run for re-election under the revised constitution.



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