Kazakhstan’s now-former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, had ruled his energy-rich Central Asian republic since the late Soviet-era. Having been in power for nearly 30 years, he surprised many in the world community when on 20 March the 78-year-old announced that he would step down as Kazakhstan’s chief politician.

In his televised address to the nation, Nazarbayev said that his decision was partly driven by his desire to help "a new generation of leaders" emerge in Kazakhstan. But what was n...

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