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Kazakhstan’s Tokayev sets presidential term to 7 years, renames country’s capital back to Astana

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of Kazakhstan, has signed a decree amending the country’s constitution. The amendments introduce a 7-year presidential term with no further re-election and rename the country’s capital from Nur-Sultan back to its historic name Astana, as per his website.

The country’s parliament unanimously adopted the amendments yesterday. Kazakhstan’s capital Astana was renamed to Nur-Sultan in 2019 after the country’s first President Nursultan Nazarbayev when Tokayev became President. Interestingly enough, it was Tokayev who suggested that the city be renamed. A group of MPs called on to return the historic name in early September. “We believe this to be wrong when a city is named after a living person, moreover, the people did not accept the new name,” they said in their statement; Tokayev supported this.

Kazakhstan’s President announced a pre-term election on 1 September scheduled for this autumn and suggested that the presidential term be set to 7 years with no right to be elected again. “Our nation’s interests are my priority. This is why I decided to reduce my term and organise an early presidential election,” he said.

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