Kazakhstan Renames their Capital after Ex-president

At a joint meeting of the two chambers, Kazakhstan's parliament passed a law renaming the state capital Astana to Nursultan in honor of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, TASS reported.

The members of the Magglias (Lower House) and Senate (upper) unanimously voted in favor of the proposal. The law is considered adopted and is now due to be signed by the president.

Yesterday, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled the country for 30 years, has announced that he is withdrawing from the presidency, but remains chairman of the Security Council and leader of the ruling Nur Otan party (the "Fatherland").

According to the Constitution, President-in-Office of the Senate, Kassim-Jomart Tokayev, who was sworn in earlier today, was appointed until the end of his mandate.

At a joint meeting of the two Chambers of Parliament, Tokeyev proposed that the capital be called Nursultan, in order to perpetuate the name of the first president.

As the President of the Senate, Tokayev elected today Nazarbaev's eldest daughter, Darriga.
Astana has gained popularity recently as a host of peace talks with Syria, the Associated Press recalls.

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