Nazarbayev has been the president since December 1991, when Kazakhstan became independent of the Soviet Union. He has been the country's leader since 1989. This is when he was named First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR. In April 2011, Nazarbayev was re-elected to another five-year term.
In February 2014 he proposed renaming Kazakhstan to "Kazakh Eli". In 2006 he rewrote the words to "My Kazakhstan" which was then accepted as the country's national anthem. Shortly after his resignation as president the capital city was named after him in his honour.
- Staff writer (4 April 2011). "Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev wins re-election". BBC News Asia-Pacific. BBC News. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- "Kazakh leader floats renaming country". 7 February 2014 – via www.bbc.com.
- Kazakhstan declared independence from the Soviet Union on 16 December 1991.