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Kazakhstan’s president announces resignation

Nursultan Nazarbayev will step down after 30 years in power

ASTANA, March 19. /TASS/. Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced on Tuesday that he will step down after 30 years in power.

"I made a decision to resign as president," Nazarbayev, 78, said in his televised address to the nation. "This year marks 30 years since I assumed the post of the country’s supreme leader. I was given the honor by my great nation to become the first president of independent Kazakhstan," Nazarbayev said.

On February 15, Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council clarified Nazarbayev’s statement on Section 3 of Article 42 of the Constitution on a list of grounds for an early resignation. According to the council, the key law stipulates the right of the head of state to step down.

At the same time Nazarbayev said he will remain chairman of the Central Asian state’s Security Council despite his resignation.

"In accordance with our laws, I’m given a status of the first president - the nation’s leader (elbasy in Kazakh), I will remain the Security Council’s chairman, who has serious powers to determine the country’s domestic and foreign policy in line with the laws," Nazarbayev said in his televised address to the nation.

Nazarbayev will also remain chairman of the Nur Otan Democratic People’s Party and a member of the Constitutional Council.

The Kazakh leader said he would continue taking care about the country and the people. "As the founder of an independent Kazakh state, I see my future task in ensuring the assumption of power by a new generation of leaders, who will continue carrying out current reforms in the country," he stressed.

Nazarbayev has led Kazakhstan since 1989, when it was part of the Soviet Union. In 1991, Nazarbayev was elected as the nation’s first president.