Every 1 December is First President Day in Kazakhstan, which commemorates the election of Kazakhstan’s first president after independence from the USSR in 1990.
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When the Soviet Union broke up, Kazakhstan was the last Soviet Socialist republic to declare its independence. On 1 December, 1991, Kazakhstan proceeded to elect Nursultan Nazarbayev as their first president. Nazarbayen had already been leader of Kazakhstan from just before its independence in 1989.
President Nazarbayen’s decades long term as president was made possible when the nation’s constitution, which forbids any president serving more than two five-year terms in office, was amended to allow him and him alone to have as many terms as he wished. This was done because of Nazarbayen’s immense popularity and his perceived positive contributions to national progress.
President Day first became a public holiday in 2011, while Nazarbayen was still the sitting president. The day is meant to honour President Nazarbayen himself but also to remember the triumph of democracy in Kazakhstan after 70 years of oppressive Communist rule.