Kazakhstan President resigns

Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev (78) will step down.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in office since 1990.

President Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan since the fall of the Soviet Union, announced on March 19 that he would resign his office.

“I have taken the decision to refuse the mandate of the presidency,” he said in a televised address.

A few weeks ago he dismissed the government as it struggles with low oil prices and domestic discontent. Sanctions against Russia, the country’s major trading partner, have also damaged the economy and fomented wide-spread discontent with the government blamed incapacity to ensure adequate living standards.

The President said that Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the speaker of the upper house of parliament and a Nazarbayev’s loyalist, will take over as the country’s acting leader until the end of his term, as regulated by the Kazakh Constitution. This term ends in March 2020.

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