Kazakh president says resigning after three decades in office

By Agence France-Presse

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his shock resignation on Tuesday, 29 years after taking office.

“I have taken the decision to refuse the mandate of the presidency,” he said in a speech broadcast on state television.

In this file photo taken on October 19, 2018, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev waves as he arrives for a Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) at the European Council in Brussels. (Photo by Aris Oikonomou / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
In this file photo taken on October 19, 2018, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev waves as he arrives for a Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) at the European Council in Brussels. (Photo by Aris Oikonomou / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Nazarbayev came to power in oil-rich Kazakhstan when it was still a Soviet republic and has never indicated a successor.

The move comes on the back of growing social discontent and an economy still recovering from an oil price plunge in 2014.

The announcement also comes just weeks after the ageing strongman dismissed the country’s government.

Nazarbayev will enjoy significant policy-making powers following his resignation thanks to his constitutional status as “Leader of the Nation”.

He also became lifelong head of the country’s security council last year.

 
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