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Kazakhstan Gears Up for Nazarbayev Love-Fest

Kazakhstan is marking the week leading up to First President’s Day on December 1 with public displays of affection for Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader whom this public holiday – introduced last year – celebrates.

Fueling criticism that a cult of personality surrounds the president who has ruled independent Kazakhstan for 22 years, one Astana university organized a mass display of student adoration for the man who goes by the title Leader of the Nation.

“Supporting the Leader of the Nation!” chanted some 3,000 students from the Kazakh Humanities and Law University who turned out on November 28 to sing one of the president’s favorite songs and release red and white balloons into the sky against the backdrop of a giant banner showing the word “I” with a red heart followed by the words “Kazakhstan” and “Nazarbayev.”

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Kazakhstan Gears Up for Nazarbayev Love-Fest

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