Kazakhstan’s new President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has suggested renaming the Central Asian state’s capital of Astana into Nursultan after the first president Nursultan Nazarbayev, TASS reported.
"I believe it is necessary to immortalize the name of our great contemporary, the first president of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev so: our capital should be named after our president - Nursultan," Tokayev said.
On Wednesday, Tokayev was sworn in as the Central Asian state’s interim president. Kazakhstan’s first president Nursultan Nazarbayev, 78, announced his surprise resignation on Tuesday after 30 years in power. In his address to the nation, Nazarbayev said he would remain Chairman of the Security Council, the Nur Otan Democratic People’s Party and a member of the Constitutional Council. Tokayev will serve for the rest of Nazarbayev’s term, which expires in April 2020.
Tokayev, 65, has been Speaker of Kazakhstan’s upper house of parliament, the Senate, since September 2017. He earlier served as the United Nations Under Secretary-General, Chairman of the third and fourth Senates, Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister, State Secretary and Foreign Minister.