June 18, 2020 at 1:57 PM
Nursultan Nazarbayev, who stepped down as president of Kazakhstan last year after nearly three decades in power, has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said on Thursday.
"There is no cause for alarm," his office said in a statement. Nazarbayev "is currently in self-isolation."
Nazarbayev, 79, still wields expansive power in the Central Asian republic, which he had led since its transition to independence from the Soviet Union. His chosen successor, career diplomat Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, assumed the presidency last year.
Nazarbayev is chairman of Kazakhstan's security council and maintains influence in politics.
Kazakhstan's capital was renamed Nur-Sultan in his honour in 2019.