Central Asia: Kazakhstan's capital should be called Astana again

Central Asia
Kazakhstan's capital will be called Astana again

The Presidential Palace in the center of the capital of Kazakhstan.  Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/dpa

The Presidential Palace in the center of the capital of Kazakhstan. photo

© Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/dpa

Astana, Nur-Sultan and now Astana again: The Kazakh parliament has voted to call the capital back to its previous name.

More than three years after its renaming, the capital of Kazakhstan is supposed to be back Astana mean. That was decided by the parliament in the city currently called Nur-Sultan.

A constitutional amendment passed unanimously also stipulated that the president of the Central Asian country can only be elected once for a period of seven years. head of state Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has yet to sign the amended constitution law. This is considered a formality.

For the renaming the capital of the oil-rich ex-Soviet republic, a presidential decree is still needed. Tokayev, 69, is in favor of returning to the old name. Astana became Nur-Sultan in March 2019 - in honor of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who stepped down from power after around three decades. More than a million people live in the glittering metropolis in the north of the country, which was pounded out of steppe sand.

China's neighbor, with a population of 18.5 million, was rocked by bloody protests earlier this year. This led, among other things, to the rupture Nazarbayevwho had been vested with far-reaching powers even after his resignation, and his family, who had run the country's fortunes.

Nazarbayev left the city to the north Kazakhstan during his time in power with futuristic buildings modeled after the Gulf States. In 1998 he gave it the neutral name Astana, Kazakh for capital. In Soviet times, the resource-rich republic's center of power was in Almaty, the most populous city in the south of the country.


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