Birthday: July 6, 1940
Age: 81 Years, 81 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Cancer
Also Known As: Nursultan Äbishuly Nazarbayev, Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev
Born in: Chemolgan, Kazakh SSR Soviet Union
Famous as: 1st President of Kazakhstan
Spouse/Ex-: Sara Nazarbayeva
father: Abish Nazarbayev
mother: Alzhan Nazarbayeva
children: Aliya Nazarbayeva, Dariga Nazarbayeva, Dinara Nazarbayeva
Founder/Co-Founder: Nazarbayev University
Who is Nursultan Nazarbayev?
Nursultan Nazarbayev is a political leader and the President of Kazakhstan. Starting his career as a laborer at the Temirtau steel-works in Kazakhstan, he progressed as a technician, economist to finally become an ace metallurgic. His contribution at Karaganda Metallurgical Plant brought him great respect and proved him as a pragmatic leader, loved and respected by all. Beginning his political journey with the participation in the Communist Party of Soviet Union in 1962, he went on to become the secretary of the Kazakhstan Party and finally the President of the Republic, being honored with re-election a number of times. Having ruled Kazakhstan since the independence of the country from the Soviet Union in 1991 along with the inception of the Commonwealth of Independent States, he has been credited for most of the success of Kazakhstan. Being deeply influenced by the democratic set up of the U.S. and other western allies, he made continuous efforts to imbibe similar democratic set up in his country too. Although defamed by many as autocratic and oppressive, his judicious policies and approach has no wonder helped evolve his country into a prosperous and peaceful set up.
Childhood & Early Life
Nazarbayev was born on 6 July 1940 in Chemolgan, near Almaty (Kazakhstan, U.S.S.R.), to Abish and Alzhan Nazarbayev who were Kazakh peasants.
The family stayed at their native place till Joseph Stalin’s collectivization policy and after that they shifted to the mountain region and became nomads.
Sustaining the tough times of the war and post war years, Nazarbayev childhood was burdened with poverty and starvation. Seeing his father struggle, he was a helping hand in whatever his father did at home and at fields for his livelihood.
It was only during the end of World War II when they returned to Chemolgan and Nazarbayey was sent for schooling in Kaskelen where he got the hang of the Russian language.
His knowledge and hard work helped him stand out among his fellows at school. His keen involvement in sports made him physically strong and a master of wresting too.
Post schooling, he went to the Karaganda Steel Mill in Temirtau for a year, under a government- sponsored scholarship. He was later sent to Ukraine and enrolled in a vocational school of the Dnieper Metallurgical Plant in Dneprodzerzhinsk.
By the age of 20, he was self sufficient by earning considerably well from some gravely hazardous activities he undertook at the furnaces.
He went on to earn a degree in metallurgy in 1967 from a technical school of the Karaganda Metallurgical Combine in Kazakhstan and later from the Higher Party School in Moscow in 1976.
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During the period 1960-1977 he worked as a steelworker and engineer at the Karaganda plant.
Nazarbeyev was involved in the Kazakhstan Magnitka (the Karaganda Metallurgical Plant) since its inception on July 3, 1960. He sustained the tough working conditions in the blast furnace and became one of the best metallurgists.
In 1962, he became a part of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) wherein he devoted his majority time and became the secretary of the Communist Party Committee of the Karaganda Metallurgical Kombinat in 1972.
Becoming a Secretary of the Party Committee of the native Karaganda Metallurgical Plant in 1972 was a milestone in his career. He was at the second highest post (after the director) of the plant where a total of 30000 people were employed.
His personal involvement at all levels from the production till the management, a pragmatic approach to problem solving coupled with the empathetic leadership qualities earned him lot of respect of the employees.
He progressed exponentially to become the Second Secretary of the Karaganda Regional Party Committee in 1976.
Nazarbayev became a full time member of the Kazakhstan Politburo in 1979.
In 1984 he became the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Kazakh SSR and became the youngest (aged at 44) prime minister of the Union republics in the USSR which he continued till 1989.
In June 22, 1989, post the transfer of Gennady Kolbin (Congress of People's Deputies) to Moscow, Nazarbayev was elected as first Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kazakh.
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Nazarbayev became a full time member of the CPSU Politburo in 1990.
On April 24, 1990 when the Supreme Council of the Kazakh SSR proposed the post of the President of the Kazakh SSR, Nursultan Nazarbayev was elected as the first President in the history of Kazakhstan.
The year 1991 saw the ouster of Mikhail Gorbachev which was strongly opposed by Nazarbayev but the opposition went in vain thereby leading to Nazarbayev’s resignation from the Politburo in August 1991.
With the first elections for the President of the Republic on December 1, 1991, Nazarbayev became the President of the Republic with clear majority.
Nazarbayev’s term was extended till 2000 through the referendum of 1995. Being struck by an economic adversity, elections were pre-pond in 1999 wherein Nazarbayev was re-elected as the President.
Being re-elected in 2005 by a 90% majority for a seven year term, he was excused from the policy of two-term presidency through a constitutional amendment passed in 2007.
He was given the title of the ‘Leader of the Nation’ by the Kazakh parliament in 2010 which also passed a referendum to withdraw the future two term elections thereby declaring Nazarbayev’s presidency till 2020 but the Kazakhstan constitutional court did not accept it.
The failure of the referendum led to early elections in 2011 resulting in Nazarbayev’s majority by 95%. The politically restricted activities along with the absence of a strong opposition were believed to be the reasons behind Nazarbayev’s clear win.
The year 2015 saw Nazarbayev becoming the president again with a majority of 95%.
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Awards & Achievements
Nazarbayev was honored by a postage stamp bearing his photograph.
Other honors bestowed upon him are the Order of the Golden Eagle, Order of the Red Banner of Labour, Order of the Badge of Honour, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the Order of Akhmad Kadyrov and many more.
He has been honored by other countries and international institutions. These are the Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, the Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold of Belgium, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Nile of Egypt, the Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur of France, the Order of Independence of Qatar, the Order of Liberty of Ukraine and many others.
As the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kazakh, he easily understood the issues people had with the monopoly of the central set ups. He strove for the economic independence of Kazakhstan by introducing democratic proceedings such as the worker’s union.
His support to the “Nevada-Semipalatinsk” (environmental movement in 1989) to shut down the hazardous Semipalatinsk test site was widely appreciated.
It was Nazarbayev’s recommendation to the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate 29 August as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests.
It was under his leadership that Kazakhstan attained complete independence from the Soviet Union in December, 1991 through the Alma-Ata Protocol which resulted in the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the union of former Soviet republics as) with Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and seven other former Soviet republics.
Under his suggestion to unite the growing European and Asian economies, the “Eurasian Union” was created on May 29, 2014 wherein Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed a treaty to share a common economic space of 170 million people.
His concern towards the environment was evident on his pointing out ecological imbalances affecting the Aral Sea and the call he made to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and many others to correct the environmental harm caused during the Soviet period.
On September 8, 2006 a treaty to authorize the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone was signed by Nazarbayev.
He is credited with the formulation of the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy in 2012 that aims at strengthening Kazakhstan’s position as one of the 30 most developing countries in the world.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was named Nursultan on the suggestion of his grandmother, Myrzabala; who is said to have a great influence on his upbringing and personality.
Nazarbayev got married to Sara Alpysqyzy and they have three daughters.- Dariga, Dinara and Aliya.