- After nearly three decades, Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev retires.
- He ruled the ex-Soviet republic since 1991 authoritarian.
- In February, he had announced that he wanted to give more support to poor people in the country.
Lifetime-appointed Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned. The 78-year-old announced the decision on Tuesday on television of the ex-Soviet republic. Nazarbayev has governed Central Asia since becoming independent in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Previously, he had been President of the then Soviet Republic for more than a year. The powers of the president should take over the head of the Kazakh House of Lords in Parliament, said Nazarbayev.
There was initial evidence last year that the "leader of the nation" could officially retire from the top of the state. Nevertheless, the step is surprising at the moment. The senate president of the country had openly said in 2018 that Nazarbayev in the presidential election in 2020 probably will no longer compete. Since Nazarbayev governs the country authoritarian, it is unlikely that the President of the Senate could have expressed this without his approval.
Nazarbayev is likely to pull the strings even after his resignation as president in Kazakhstan. He continues to lead the National Security Council, which – if so planned – is to be subordinated to the police and the military.
At the end of February, Nazarbayev had dismissed his government for bad work. He accused her of failure and inability in economic policy. Despite many laws, the economy has not developed positively. The situation is stable. "But that's not enough," said the president. He will propose "a series of measures" to strengthen social welfare and improve people's quality of life, Nazarbayev said. Above all, poor people in the Central Asian country would need better support.
Earlier, Kazakh women demonstrated for more financial support and safer housing after five people were killed in a fire.