Kazakhstan’s new president, Kassym- Jomart Tokayev, has officially sealed the renaming of the capital, Astana, by signing a bill. This was announced by the Presidential Office of the former Soviet Republic on Saturday on its website. The state agency published the legal text. Nursultan – this is the first name of long-time President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Naserbayev had surprisingly announced his resignation on Tuesday after nearly 30 years in power. One day later, his confidant Tokayev took over the office and suggested even the new name for the capital. Thereupon, the two chambers of the Kazakh parliament decided the change. In contrast, there were reports in the past few days in the oil-rich steppe state sporadic protests and several arrests.
Astana has been the capital of the Central Asian country since 1997. It has been renamed several times in the past. Her name was Akmolinsk, from 1961 Tselinograd, 1992 Akmola, then Almaty, 1998 Astana and now Nursultan.