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Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev resigns but retains key posts

Strongman set to keep influence over resource-rich nation after three-decade rule

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned as Kazakhstan's president in a surprise move on Tuesday, yet the last standing Soviet-era ruler appears poised to continue influencing the Central Asian nation's development for years to come.

"I have adopted a difficult decision for myself to resign as president of the Republic of Kazakhstan," the 78-year-old Nazarbayev told the nation in a televised address, saying this year will mark three decades of his leadership.

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