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May 25, 2022

December 1: Kazakhstan celebrates the Day of the First President

On  December 1, Kazakhstan marks the Day of the First President. This holiday was established as a sign of recognition for the work by the country’s first President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

On this day in 1991, on the fateful days for Kazakhstan, elections were held for the first time, during which Nursultan Nazarbayev was elected President of Kazakhstan.

The first President received 98.78 percent of the votes cast in the elections. This victory was a sign of the highest trust and, at the same time, a responsible choice of the people of Kazakhstan.

As it happens in many countries of the world– where the first leaders and founding fathers are honoured for the crucial role played along the history in the development of their homelands, in uniting their nations and positioning them on the international arena as a responsible members and a respected voices of the global community-Kazakhstan has also chosen to celebrate its First President.

This holiday was established by Kazakh senators through the amendments to country’s relevant law  on  public holidays in the Republic of Kazakhstan adopted on December 14, 2011 and has been celebrated ever since.

Today, the uniqueness of the model of social peace and harmony built in Kazakhstan is spoken around the world, calling it the “Kazakhstani Way” or the “Nazarbayev Model”. This experience is of great interest to politicians and scientists around the world. The ideas and initiatives of the President of Kazakhstan are the subject of in-depth research, leading mass media speak and write about them.

The content and essence of his multifunctional activities aimed at creating the basis of true sovereignty, building an effective economy, creating a harmonious society and setting priorities for the country’s development at the last stage of national history is a good reason for recognizing the First President of Kazakhstan-Elbasy as the Founding Father of the modern state and the true leader of the nation, as the Kazakh people themselves defined it.

The historical phenomenon of President Nursultan Nazarbayev lies in the fact that he was able to develop the creative potential of the nation and mobilize society for a powerful breakthrough into the future.

Nazarbayev’s well-balanced political vision consolidated the Kazakh society and turned its focus toward implementation of Kazakhstan’s own model of development. He succeeded to implement and preserve the inter-ethnic harmony and stability and is also widely credited for the country’s impressive economic growth.

His international initiatives in the fields of nuclear disarmament, the fight against terrorism and intercivilizational dialogue have made a significant contribution to strengthening international peace and security.

Under the leadership of N. Nazarbayev, on the basis of a wise “multi-vector” foreign policy, Kazakhstan nurtured close ties and has established strategic and expanded partnerships with Russia, China, United States, European Union countries, the Islamic world, regional neighbors and friendly relations with all countries of the world. At the same time, it has avoided over-dependence on any one power, and has tried to diversify its relations.

Elbasy’s purely pragmatic approach, which includes specific projects, maintaining the stability of the entire system, strategic planning and development stage, has allowed the country to achieve impressive results in state-building in less than 30 years. In connection with the continuous process of transformation and deep systemic reforms in all spheres of society, the concept of “Kazakhstani miracle” appeared, the main creator and author of which is Nursultan Nazarbayev.

His well-thought-out policy and strategy have led the Kazakh economy to the status of one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Thanks to the personal contribution of the First President and strong support of the people, the development model of Kazakhstan has become widespread in the world community. This model represents the gradual and steady development of a state with a dynamic and deep evolution.

Another landmark step taken by the first President of the Republic was the transfer of the capital from Almaty to Astana, with this city becoming in a few years, a financial, business, innovative and cultural hub of the Eurasian region.

In a short time, the new capital, born of the will of the First President of Kazakhstan, gained the status of a national idea, became a symbol of independence and global success of the young state. In his welcoming speech dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Nur-Sultan, Elbasy very vividly and figuratively defined the development philosophy of the new capital city: “Built in the heart of Eurasia, the new capital carries a colossal modernization mission. A new space has been created here, a new coordinate system, I would say, new time. It sets the momentum for total renewal and the birth of a new order”.

“Today, the world does not need opposition, but harmony, development and cooperation.Therefore, the light of goodness and Kazakh values emitted by the capital spreads throughout the planet and receives a grateful reflection,” Nazarbayev stated, according to www.akorda.kz.

For all his merits and high dedication for building the modern Kazakhstan and for increasing the country’s credibility and visibility in the world, Nursultan Nazarbayev remains very popular among Kazakh citizens.

Under N. Nazabayev’s leadership, Kazakhstan has become the first state among the CIS and Central Asian countries to be chosen by the global community to host the international exhibition – EXPO 2017. Its peacekeeping initiatives, including the Astana Process on Syria settlement, received international recognition. As well as other international events as the Congresses of leaders of world and traditional religions, the Astana Economic Forum and other important international gatherings which  are held in the capital on a regular basis. The historic OSCE summit was held in Nur-Sultan, the anniversary summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) were also hosted by the capital city. In addition, in the beginning of 2011, the capital of the Republic hosted the participants and guests of the VII Asian Winter Games.

Last but not least, President Nazarbayev’s efforts in non-proliferation and nuclear safety have been praised and recognized by the world leaders. “Kazakhstan is an excellent example of how a country can abandon nuclear weapon and achieve greater security and economic prosperity.

Having renounced nuclear weapon, Kazakhstan people received security guarantees from all states in the region, and this helped make Kazakhstan one of the most stable countries in the region. Having renounced nuclear weapon, Kazakhstan turned from a country that could be isolated, into a country that is open to the international economy and attracts foreign capital,” said the former U.S. President Barack Obama.

In this respect,  it should be noted  that before Kazakhstan attained independence, Nursultan Nazarbayev demonstrated to the nation and the entire world his boldness and commitment by shutting down the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site on August 29, 1991.

This wise approach and foreign policy vision,  as well as the close partnerships forged at the highest level, have helped Kazakhstan to be elected to the UN Security Council, another major diplomatic step not just for Astana, but also the entire region.

For all the above achievements of President Nazarbayev, the day of December 1 will forever remain in the history of Kazakhstan, and that is why it is celebrated as the Day of the First President.


Nursultan Nazarbayev was born on July 6, 1940 in the village of Chemolgan, Kaskelen region, Alma-Ata region, Kazakh SSR (now the village of Ushkonyr, Karasai region, Almaty region, Republic of Kazakhstan). In 1967 he graduated from the Higher technical educational institution at the Karaganda Metallurgical Plant.

He is Doctor of Economics, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Honorary Professor and Honorary Doctor of a number of national and foreign universities, as well as the author of numerous scientific books and articles.

According to Decree No. 887 of March 19, 2019 “On the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan”, the powers of Nursultan Nazarbayev as Head of State terminated on March 20, 2019.

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