Kazakhstan renames capital 'Nursultan' after ex-president
"Astana is now officially renamed Nursultan," the state-owned Kazinform news agency said after a parliamentary vote.
In his first official act, Tokayev asked that Astana- the gleaming new capital Nazarbayev erected in the country's vast steppes- be renamed "Nursultan,” which means "Sultan of Light" in Kazakh and other Turkic languages.
Its name meant "capital" in Kazakh and there had long been speculation it could at some point be renamed after the leader who shaped it.
It was not the first name change for the city, now home to around one million people. Astana was previously known as Akmolinsk, Tselinograd and Akmola.
The previous senate chief, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, took office as president in a pomp-filled ceremony in the capital Astana less than 24 hours after Nazarbayev, the only leader an independent Kazakhstan had ever known, suddenly announced he was stepping down.