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Kazakh ‘Leader-for-Life’ Says He’s Retired After Deadly Unrest

  • Nazarbayev made his first public appearance since the riots
  • Ex-president urged nation to support Tokayev’s reforms
Nursultan Nazarbayev
Nursultan NazarbayevPhotographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Kazakhstan’s leader-for-life Nursultan Nazarbayev made his first public appearance since deadly protests in early January led to a purge of his allies as President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev sought to reassert control in the central Asian nation. 

“There is no conflict or opposition within the elites,” Nazarbayev said in a recorded video statement posted Tuesday by his press office. “In 2019, I passed my presidential powers to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and have retired since.”