‘Right-hand man’. Kazakhstan’s former leader chooses successor

Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s ex-president and the leader of the ruling party Nur Otan, has proposed to nominate his close associate Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev for presidency, Tengrinews reports.

After three decades in power, Nazarbayev resigned on March, 19 and appointed his close associate Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan, Acting President.

Early presidential elections are expected to take place on June 9, 2019.

“I propose to consider the candidacy of Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev. As Chairman of the Senate, he made a great contribution to the development of parliamentarism. All these years he has been my right-hand man,” the politician told his party fellows.

Nazarbayev called Tokayev a ‘right candidate for the highest office in the country’ and referred to his merits in the diplomatic sphere.

“He is a member of my team that started to build the country’s foreign policy; for many years, he had been heading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” Nazarbayev said.

Interestingly, Dariga Nazarbayeva, the retired leader’s daughter and ex-Head of the parliamentary committee on international relations, defense and security, was elected Chairperson of the Senate, the upper house of the Kazakh parliament, in March. Placing Nazarbayeva’s name in nomination has turned to be one of the first decisions taken by Acting President Tokayev after his inauguration.

The ruling party has 84 of the 107 seats in the Majlis. In 2016, Nur Otan won 82.15% of votes in the parliamentary elections.

Nazarbayev retires, long live Nazarbayev? ‘Leader of the Nation’ still in power

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