Kazakhstan: Nursultan Nazarbayev erased banknotes for the benefit of an eagle

ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s central bank presented a new banknote on Friday, identical to the old one with one exception: the portrait of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been replaced by the silhouette of an eagle.

This is the latest step taken by this Central Asian country to free itself from the cult of personality maintained by its former president, who ruled the former Soviet republic with an iron fist between 1991 and 2019.

The new 20,000 tenge banknote (about 43.05 euros) is based on a model that was printed last year; it no longer features the portrait of the former president next to the presidential residence.

The bank said in a statement that the new note will gradually replace the old models, which will remain legal tender during the transition.

In another symbolic gesture, the Kazakh parliament this month reverted the capital to its former name Astana, three years after it was renamed Nursultan.

The anti-government demonstrations in January – the deadliest that Kazakhstan has known since its independence in 1991 – were an opportunity for the new president, Kassim-Jomart Tokayev, to definitively dismiss Nazarbayev and his entourage.

(Report by Mariya Gordeyeva, written by Olzhas Auyezov; French version Dina Kartit, edited by Sophie Louet)

Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.

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