Nursultan Nazarbayev Current Affairs - 2020

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev elected Kazakhstan president

Interim President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, won the country’s snap Presidential elections with nearly 71%. He was also the chosen successor of veteran ruler and former leader Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Key Highlights

  • After Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned from as Presidential post of Kazakhstan in March 2019, the Presidentship was transferred to the then Speaker of the Senate (Upper House), Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
  • Shortly after assuming the charge of interim President of Kazakhstan, Tokayev in his address to nation announced that elections would be conducted earlier than anticipated.
  • Snap Election: In recently held snap election, a total of seven candidates ran for Presidency which also included Daniya Yespayeva, the first woman candidate to do so in country’s history. The voter turnout in elections was 77.4% and Tokayev’s nearest rival Amirzhan Kosanov of United National Patriotic Movement (‘Ult Tagdyry’) received about 16% of votes.
  • Significance: For the first time in almost thirty years, the Kazakh presidential elections held in 2019 paved the way for a new candidate coming to power. Tokayev’s predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev was serving as Kazakh President since the independence of country in 1992 until his resignation in March 2019.

Kazakhstan renames Capital Astana after Ex-President

Kazakhstan has renamed its capital Astana to Nursultan to honour outgoing leader Nursultan Nazarbayev. The announcement regarding this was made by the new president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and was approved by the parliament of Kazakhstan. Nursultan Nazarbayev served nearly 30 years as leader of the oil-rich nation.

The decision of the Nursultan Nazarbayev to step down came as a surprise when he made an announcement regarding this through a television address. He was the first president of Kazakhstan and lead Kazakhstan since it emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

It was Nursultan Nazarbayev who moved the capital of Kazakhstan’s capital from the southern city of Almaty, near the Kyrgyz border, to northern Astana, which translates to “the capital” in Kazakh and Astana boomed from a minor provincial steppe town into a futuristic city. Although proposals were made earlier to rename the city as Nursultan earlier,  Nursultan Nazarbayev had himself rejected such proposals.