In a televised address shown on national TV channels at 19.00 hours on March 19, 2019, Nursultan Nazarbayev stunned the nation as he announced that he relinquishes the duties of the President of Kazakhstan, a position he held since December 1991, as of March 20.
“As the founder of the independent Kazakh state, I see my future task in ensuring the coming to power of a new generation of leaders who will continue the ongoing reforms,” he said in what he called a “special” address that was delivered in both Kazakh and Russian languages. “The issue of succession of power in Kazakhstan is resolved in the Constitution. In case the current President relinquishes the duties, his duties are transferred to the Chairman of the Senate until the end of the current term. Then, the election of a new President is held.”
Nursultan Nazarbayev then went on to sign what he called his last decree as the President of Kazakhstan, relinquishing his duties since March 20, appointing the time for the taking of office for the current Chairman of the Senate, Qasym-Jomart Toqayev, for 12.00 March 20 at the joint session of Parliament.