Nursultan Nazarbayev is the incumbent President of Kazakhstan, a Nuclear Supplier Group member nation. He has been in the office since 16 December 1991. Nazarbayev also holds the office of Chairman of Nur Otan. Previously, he was Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (1990), First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakh SSR (1989 – 1991) and Prime Minister of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (1984 – 1989).
Early Life and Education
Nursultan Nazarbayev was born on 6 July 1940 in Chemolgan, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union. Raised in a poor background, Nazarbayev lived a nomadic life after his father lost the job of a laborer at a wealthy person’s house. The family returned back to normal life with an end to World War II. In the same team, Nazarbayev joined a school in Kaskelen.
Academically sharp, Nazarbayev won a scholarship to join Karaganda Steel Mill for a year and learn about running a steel plant. Later, he went to the Karagandy Polytechnic Institute.
Nursultan Nazarbayev is a married man with three daughters: Dariga, Dinara and Aliya. He and his wife, Sara Alpysqyzy Nazarbayeva tied the knot 1962, when Nazarbayev was just 22 and Sara was 21. Sara is an economics graduate and the founder of a children’s foundation named Bobek. She won Ihsan Dogramaci Family Health Foundation Prize and The International Unity Prize for her incessant efforts to uplift children.
Primarily, Nazarbayev was a factory laborer by profession. Then, he joined the Communist Party in 1962 and gradually rose to prominence in the Kazakh politics. In 1997, he became the secretary of the Communist Party Committee, Karaganda Metallurgical Kombinat and joined Karaganda Regional Party Committee as Second Secretary four years later.
Gaining enough experiences, Nursultan Nazarbayev was appointed to the post of Prime Minister of Kazakhstan on 22 March 1984 as a successor of Uzakbay Karamanov. He held the position until 27 July 1989. Leaving the office of Prime Minister, he just held the posts of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakh and SSR and Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. Renowned as an experienced Kazakh politician, Nursultan Nazarbayev became President of Kazakhstan and assumed the office on 16 December 1991. He holds the office ever since i.e. more than 25 years.
As soon as he assumed President’s office, Nazarbayev shuffled governmental positions and formed an environment to formulate the new constitution on 28 January 1993. Following these achievements, a unanimous referendum appointed Nazarbayev to the office until 2000. Then, he got re-elected in 1999 and 2005. He also pushed the Parliament of Kazakhstan to approve a constitutional amendment that granted Nazarbayev a privilege to run for any number of terms he desired. The amendment was passed on 18 May 2007.
Already 76 now, Nazarbayev solely has the power to serve as many terms as he can – unlike any future presidents. In 2014, he proposed changing Kazakhstan’s name so as to distinguish itself from any other neighboring ‘stan’ countries such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Although this suggestion did not go forward, Nazarbayev has indeed been able to distinguish Kazakhstan economy from the world economy. While the world economy is gradually growing, Kazakh economy is gradually shrinking although current GDP amount was skyrocketing until the late 2000s.
On the other hand, Nursultan Nazarbayev has been crucial in strengthening relations with the Eurasian economies by establishing the Eurasian Economic Union under the membership of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Similarly, Nazarbayev has been productive in developing relations with Israel and the United States of America. At the end of 2016, Nazarbayev held a rendezvous with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Besides, Kazakh President Nazarbayev has also been very cooperative on the idea of dismantling nuclear weapons which were stockpiled during the second world war. Nazarbayev called for a Non-Proliferation Treaty and advocated for it in newspapers and magazines all around the world. In his 2016 manifesto, he pledged to develop nuclear-free zones and formulate disarmament treaties.
In addition, Kazakhstan has progressed significantly towards multiculturalism and tolerance under Nazarbayev’s leadership. Now, the nation is often referred to as ‘Singapore of the Steppes’ on the grounds that Kazakhstan also promoted Singaporean ways to attract foreign investors and intelligent minds. However, President Nazarbayev still remains a person with nationalistic views – he has been critical on Putin’s remarks on Kazakhstan.
In 2012, Nazarbayev revealed his 2050 Kazakhstan vision whereby he aims to achieve sustained economic growth and reach the list of 30 most developed states in the world. While these visions are ambitious, they are achievable, especially if we look at Kazakhstan’s records. To many people’s surprise, the country ranks 65 in Rule of Law Index, 32 in Order and Security, 93 in Constraints on Government Powers, 85 in Open Government and 84 in Fundamental Rights. Recently, Nazarbayev also executed his steps to reform Kazakh judicial system.
- Kazakhstan: Order of the Golden Eagle
- Kazakhstan: Medal “10 Years of the Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan”
- Kazakhstan: Medal “In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Railway of Kazakhstan”
- Kazakhstan: Medal “50 Years of the Virgin Lands”
- Kazakhstan: Jubilee Medal “60 Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945”
- Soviet Union: Order of the Red Banner of Labour
- Soviet Union: Order of the Badge of Honour
- Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria
- Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold
- Croatia: Grand Order of King Tomislav
- Egypt: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Nile
- Estonia: Collar of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
- Finland: Commander Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
- France: Grand Croix of the Légion d’honneur
- Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
- Hungary: Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
- Italy: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Latvia: 1st Class with Chain of the Order of the Three Stars
- Lithuania: Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great
- Luxembourg: Grand Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown
- Monaco: Grand Cross of the Order of Saint-Charles
- Qatar: Order of Independence
- Romania: Sash of the Order of the Star of Romania
- Serbia: Order of the Republic of Serbia
- Slovakia: Grand Cross (or 1st Class) of the Order of the White Double Cross
- Tajikistan: Order of Ismoili Somoni
- Turkey: First Class of the Order of the State of Republic of Turkey
- United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Trump and Nazarbayev
US President Donald Trump and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev seem to be getting along well so far. On a phone call, Trump deemed Nazarbayev’s administration as being miraculous for Kazakhstan’s welfare. The two leaders have agreed to cooperate together in military and economic terms.