Kazakhstan changes name of capital back to Astana

The central Asian nation of Kazakhstan is changing the name of its capital back to Astana from Nur-Sultan, which is the first name of its former leader.

The current president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, on Saturday signed legislation to bring back the former name of the capital.

Tokayev renamed the capital in 2019 in honor of his predecessor, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned after nearly 30 years in office. Tokayev was a close aide to Nazarbayev.

The former president retained influence as the head of the country's Security Council. He was accused of monopolizing wealth and power among his relatives and allies when people held massive anti-government demonstrations in January this year.

In response, Tokayev removed Nazarbayev from key posts, and pursued constitutional changes to strip him of a number of privileges.

The latest move is seen as part of efforts to eliminate the former president's influence.