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Parliament of Kazakhstan renames Nur-Sultan to Astana and increases presidential term to seven years
At a joint session of the chambers, Kazakhstan's parliament adopted the law "On Amendments and Additions to the Constitution." Interfax reported that the document was unanimously supported by all 50 senators and 99 deputies of the Mazhilis who were present at the session. The law will now be sent to the president of Kazakhstan for his signature.
The amendments that were adopted stipulate that:
- The presidential term in Kazakhstan will be increased from five to seven years, with the president not eligible to be re-elected for a second term.
- The capital city Nur-Sultan will be returned to its former name: Astana.
Minister of Justice Kanat Musin said at the meeting that the question of renaming the capital city was being discussed by the public, so it was included in the draft law after taking public opinion into account. Mazhilis deputy Zhanarbek Ashimzhanov noted that the people of Kazakhstan aren't denying the merits of the country's first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in strengthening the country's statehood.
In September, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the president of Kazakhstan, suggested that a special presidential election be held in the autumn of 2022. He also came up with an initiative to increase the presidential term to seven years. Tokayev supported the proposal to rename Nur-Sultan to Astana.
Astana was renamed Nur-Sultan in March 2019 at the behest of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
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