Astana [Kazakhstan], Mar 19 (ANI): Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Tuesday announced his resignation in a televised address to the nation, handing over the power to the Speaker of the Upper House.
"I have decided to end my duties as the President," Nazarbayev said in the televised address as quoted by Al Jazeera.
"This year I will have held the highest post for 30 years. The people gave me the opportunity to be the first President of an independent Kazakhstan," he added.
Nazarbayev further stated that according to the Kazakh Constitution, the Speaker of the country's upper parliament chamber, Kassym-Jomart Toqaev, will hold presidential authority for now.
He further said that he will continue as leader of the ruling Nur Otan party and will hold his position of the chairman of the presidential Security Council, which could allow him to retain key powers.
Nazarbayev has led Kazakhstan since 1989 when it was a part of the Soviet Union. He rose to power as the Central Asian country's Communist Party chief and later elected as the President.
The 78-year-old was elected for another five-year term in 2015, reportedly taking nearly 98 per cent of the votes. (ANI)