Kazakhstan renames capital Nur-Sultan after ex-president | 2019-03-24 | daily-sun.com

Kazakhstan renames capital Nur-Sultan after ex-president

24 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Kazakhstan renames capital Nur-Sultan after ex-president

ALMATY: Kazakhstan renamed its capital Astana as Nur-Sultan on Saturday in honor of veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who unexpectedly resigned this week after almost 30 years in power, reports Reuters.  

It is the fourth time the city’s name has been changed within six decades, and some residents and opposition figures have protested against the latest renaming, which was made official on Saturday in a decree signed by interim President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The windswept city of one million people, where temperatures range from -40 degrees Celsius in winter to more than 40C during the summer, was previously called Akmolinsk, Tselinograd and Akmola before becoming Astana, meaning “capital”, after Nazarbayev moved the nation’s capital there from Almaty in 1997.

Authorities have said the many public buildings, events and companies with Astana in their titles will retain their names.

Saying a new generation of leaders was needed, Nazarbayev stepped down abruptly on Tuesday in what appeared to be the first step in a choreographed political transition that will see him retain considerable sway.