Kazakhstan has a new president. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday sworn in. The new leader asked immediately for the capital Astana to rename it to Nursultan, as a tribute to his predecessor, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The 78-year-old Nazerbajev got Tuesday suddenly. He is expected to be very influential. His successor Tokayev is a 65-year-old carrièrediplomaat, who is fluent in Russian, English and speaks Chinese. He held previously various senior positions. Nazerbajev called him “a man to whom the leadership of Kazakhstan can be entrusted”.
Tokayev made it clear that they will not break with the policy of his predecessor. Also promised the new president in a speech that he is good to Nazerbajev will listen. His views will be heavily taken into account as “strategic decisions” to be taken, according to Tokayev, who was also previously prime minister has been.
Nazerbajev was since 1989 power in the oil-rich country, which according to observers is no free election is known. His successor allowed the rest of his term serving. That expires in 2020. It is unclear whether Tokayev will then participate in the elections.
The new president was previously the president of the Senate. That role is now taken over by the 55-year-old Dariga Nazarbayeva, the influential eldest daughter of the former leader.
President of Kazakhstan announces after almost thirty years of resignation