Key Russian ally Nursultan Nazarbayev, the long-time president of Kazakhstan, has handed in his resignation after almost 30 years in power.
“I have made the decision to end my tenure as president,” 78-year-old Nazarbayev said in his address.
Nazarbayev announced his resignation in a special address to the nation on Tuesday. His duties will be performed by Senate Speaker Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, from Nazarbayev’s Russia-friendly ruling party Nur Otan, until a new president is elected.
Nazarbayev had been the leader of Kazakhstan since 1990. He was on his fifth term when he resigned.
Nazarbayev will transition to heading the country’s security council after his resignation, he said.