The Kazakh leader is resigning after three decades in power, he said in Tuesday’s televised address.
“I have decided to give up my powers as president. This year will mark 30 years of my holding the highest position. The people gave me the opportunity to be the first president of independent Kazakhstan,” Nazarbayev stated.
According to him, the decision was ‘not simple’.
His last day in office will be tomorrow, March 20. Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan, will serve as acting president, Nazarbayev added.
Nursultan Nazarbayev, 78, who is called the Leader of the Nation in the country, came to power as first secretary of the Communist Party of Soviet Kazakhstan. Re-elected in 1999, 2005, 2011 and in 2015, he has been President since the office was established in the republic in April, 1990. Nazarbayev has been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses and suppressing dissent by human rights organisations.