In a long-awaited move, authorities in Kazakhstan have announced they will rename one of the main streets in the business capital after President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The decision to rename Almaty’s Furmanov Street, which has a special status as the thoroughfare typically associated with official corteges, will come as a surprise to almost nobody, however. It has for years been assumed that the relentless personality cult exercise around Nazarbayev would bring about this move — the only doubt lingered over whether it would happen before or after the president died.
Deputies with the Almaty city council voted to rename the street on November 30, on the eve of First President’s Day — a holiday created in honor of Nazarbayev. Mayor Baurzhan Baybek said his office had been swamped by petitions urging the move from representatives of the intelligentsia, nongovernmental groups and regular members of the public.
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