08ASTANA1065, KAZAKHSTAN – PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV REFUTES RUMORS OF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA1065 2008-06-09 11:28 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4422
OO RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #1065 1611128
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091128Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2560
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0521

UNCLAS ASTANA 001065 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV KZ
 
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN - PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV REFUTES RUMORS OF 
IMPENDING RESIGNATION 
 
 
1. (SBU) Rumors have been swirling around Astana in recent weeks 
that President Nazarbayev will announce his resignation on July 6 -- 
Nazarbayev's 68th birthday and the day the country will officially 
celebrate Astana's 10th anniversary as Kazakhstan's capital.  (Note: 
 Several heads of state, including Russian President Medvedev and 
Turkish President Gul are expected to be in attendance for the 10th 
anniversary celebration.  End Note.)  Rumor-mongers claim Nazarbayev 
would name Astana mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov as his successor. 
 
2. (SBU) Nazarbayev appears to have deliberately refuted the 
resignation rumors in June 6 remarks to the press in Atyrau, 
following a meeting there with Kazakhstan's Foreign Investors' 
Council.  Nazarbayev told journalists that he "does not intend to 
depart," but rather that he will stay "as long as the people have 
confidence in him" and support him at the ballot box.  He pointedly 
added that any talk of a successor is "idle speculation." 
Nazarbayev also expressed opposition to renaming Astana "Nursultan" 
in his honor -- a proposal recently put forth by Majilis member Sat 
Tokpakbayev (who is also a former defense minister). 
 
3. (SBU) Comment:  The origins of the resignation rumors remain 
unclear.  In any event, we give them no credence.  Given 
Kazakhstan's 2010 OSCE chairmanship -- which will provide the 
country with its most significant international leadership role to 
date -- and Nazarbayev's many ambitious plans for Kazakhstan's 
further development, at present there is no reason to believe 
Nazarbayev would consider resigning prior to the completion of his 
current term in office in January 2013.  End Comment. 
 
ORDWAY

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