Deputies of the maslikhat (local representative body of power) at a meeting on September 15 voted to rename the capital of Kazakhstan from Nur-Sultan to Astana. It is reported by Interfax. Further, the document will be sent for consideration by the republican onomastic commission.
The capital of Kazakhstan was renamed Nur-Sultan in March 2019 at the initiative of the head of state Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in honor of the first President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Tokayev put forward the corresponding proposal during his inaugural speech.
However, in early September, the deputy group of parliamentarians Zhana Kazakhstan (New Kazakhstan) came up with an initiative to return the former name of Astana to the capital of the republic. They referred to the requests of the population.
On September 13, Tokayev supported the initiative. This was written on Facebook by his press secretary Ruslan Zheldibay.
“The proposal of the parliamentarians is included in the draft Constitutional Law with the consent of the Head of State,” Zheldibay said. He noted that Tokayev "considers the decisive role of Nursultan Nazarbayev in strengthening the modern statehood of Kazakhstan and the formation of the capital as a historical fact." Therefore, other objects named after Nazarbayev should retain their names.
In January 2022, mass protests took place in Kazakhstan, initially demanding lower fuel prices. Then political slogans were added to them, including the demand that Nazarbayev leave power.
In the summer of 2022, a referendum was held in Kazakhstan on amendments to the Constitution. Changes in the basic law were supported by more than 77% of citizens. All references to Nazarbayev as the leader of the nation (elbasy) were removed from the text of the country's basic law.