New Delhi :
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on Tuesday announced that he has decided to step down after three decades in power. He made this announcement in a TV address.Â "I have taken the decision to refuse the mandate of the presidency," he said.Â
78-year-old Nazarbayev said, in the pre-recorded address, that the decision had 'not been simple'.Â Â
He became the leader of the oil-rich nation in the year 1990 and his tenure has been largely unchallenged.Â
AFP: Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev says resigning after three decades in officeâ€” ANI (@ANI) March 19, 2019
The move comes on the back of growing social discontent and an economy still recovering from an oil price plunge in 2014. The announcement also comes just weeks after the ageing strongman dismissed the country's government.
Nazarbayev will enjoy significant policy-making powers following his resignation thanks to his constitutional status as â€˜Leader of the Nationâ€™. He also became lifelong head of the country's security council last year.Â Â