[Ed. – Well, that’s certainly interesting. He probably has his own reasons for resigning (in favor of a hand-picked successor, and having arranged for his family to retain a firm grip on power). But we have to wonder if his departure might open up some books on the Clinton-Giustra-uranium connection from the mid-2000s, or even older dealings through Marc Rich.]
The Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan was rocked on Tuesday by the surprise announcement that longtime President Nursultan Nazarbayev has decided to resign after 30 years in power.
On the surface, Nazarbayev’s resignation appears to be little more than a 78-year-old man deciding to semi-retire while keeping a hand in the family business, which happens to be ruling a country and owning a good deal of it.
He handed off the presidency to a handpicked successor, who was sworn in the day after Nazarbayev announced his retirement, but retained other offices, including chairmanship of the national security council, leadership of the only real political party in the country, and the honorary title of “Leader of the Nation.”
The new president, former senate leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, promptly renamed the capital city of Astana to “Nursultan” in the retiring leader’s honor and named Nazarbayev’s daughter Dariga his replacement as speaker of the Senate.