Kazakhstan’s second post-independence president wanted to rename the country’s capital after its first president, who served for 30 years.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was sworn in as Kazakhstan’s president on Wednesday, a day after longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his surprise resignation. Tokayev, who had served as senate speaker, was the designated interim replacement according to the Kazakh constitution. He is expected to serve the rest of Nazarbayev’s term until elections in April 2020.
In his inaugural speech, Tokayev praised Nazarbayev as “an outstanding reformer” and called for renaming the capital city, Astana, “Nursultan.”