Kazakhstan Capital to be Renamed - Parliament Approves
OREANDA-NEWS. Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, acting as president of Kazakhstan after the former president’s Nursultan Nazarbayev resignation on March 19, proposed renaming the capital of the state, Astana, in honor of his predecessor.
Other initiatives of Tokayev are erecting a monument to the first president in the capital of Kazakhstan and renaming of all regional cities’ central streets in honor of Nazarbayev. He proposed these immediately after taking the oath on Wednesday morning.
Today, on March 20, Parliament of Kazakhstan agreed to name the capital “Nursultan”. In the past, Astana had different names - Akmolinsk, Tselinograd, Akmola. The decision was made at a joint meeting of both houses of the Kazakh Parliament, local media report. Deputies voted unanimously. Corresponding amendments will be made in the Constitution of the country.
Initially Tokayev was offered to hold a referendum, but he decided to put the matter to vote in front of the parliament without plebiscite. “Thus, dear colleagues, a historic decision was made,” said Nurlan Nigmatulin, the head of the lower house of the parliament.
The Minister of Justice of Kazakhstan, Marat Beketayev, said that the residents of the capital do not need to “urgently run” and change their documents - new ones will be issued anyway at the end of their validity period. The minister was also asked about how much money would be allocated from the country's budget in the light of renaming of the capital. “I do not think that in this case it is necessary to make such calculations. Why? Because the importance of this decision overlaps the pondering on the cost and any arguments about expenses for signboards changing,” Beketayev stressed.
Nazarbayev will receive the title of honorary senator, his portraits will remain in government offices, the new leader of Kazakhstan declared.
The day before Nursultan Nazarbayev said that he was leaving the post of the head of state. He temporarily gave his authority to Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, who had previously been the chairman of the senate. Elections in Kazakhstan are scheduled for 2020.