Former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev stripped of ‘honorary senator’ title

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev lost his status of honorary senator on Thursday as the upper house removed the title from its regulations.

"There is a decision of the Constitutional Court. Tomorrow we will make a decision to put the law ‘On the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy’ ... These actions are carried out following the results of the national referendum," Senate Speaker Maulen Ashimbayev told journalists.

The upper house of parliament awarded the title to Nazarbayev on May 30, 2019, when his daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, was its chairwoman.

The “Honorary Senator” title gave Nazarbayev the power to attend Senate meetings.

The decision comes a day after the Kazakh Constitutional Court annulled the law “On the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy,” saying it was consistent with the new constitution after the June 5, 2022 referendum.

Nazarbayev, 82, resigned from the presidency in 2019 after ruling the country for nearly 30 years.

He, however, retained the title of “Elbasy” – “head of the nation” in the Kazakh language, which gave him huge influence over politics and his loyalists retained control of the energy-rich country’s economy.

The current president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, won his first election in 2019 with the backing of Nazarbayev, but the two fell out amid violent unrest last January.

Since then, Tokayev has continued with his reform agenda, including a constitutional referendum and introducing a single presidential term of seven years. He called an early ballot last November, securing a second term with 81.3% of the vote.

The capital city – renamed in the honor of the former leader in 2019 – was also reverted to Astana.

Source: Anadolu Agency