November 15, 2016 / 12:16 PM / 3 years ago

Kazakh leader appears on banknote as personality cult flourishes

The back of the new 10,000 tenge (about $30) banknote, depicting the portrait of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and images of skyscrapers built under Nazarbayev in the capital Astana and Baiterek, is seen in this handout image provided by Kazakhstan's central bank November 15, 2016. National Bank of Kazakhstan/Handout via REUTERS

ALMATY (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s central bank unveiled a new banknote on Tuesday featuring for the first time the portrait of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, a fresh element in the flourishing personality cult of the 76-year-old leader.

The 10,000 tenge (about $30) bill will enter circulation from December 1 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the former Soviet republic’s independence, the central bank said.

Along with the portrait, the banknote carries images of skyscrapers built under Nazarbayev in the capital Astana and Baiterek, a monument which contains a pedestal with a gilded hand print of Nazarbayev’s right hand.

Nazarbayev has run the oil-rich Central Asian nation since 1989, first as a Communist boss and then as president. In 2010, Kazakhstan’s parliament passed a law giving him the official title of the Leader of the Nation.

Several monuments featuring Nazarbayev have been erected and a prestigious local university and network of schools have been named after him.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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