News ID: 254027
Published: 0232 GMT June 10, 2019

Tokayev elected Kazakh president

Tokayev elected Kazakh president

Kazakhstan’s interim president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, chosen successor of veteran ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev who retains sweeping powers, has won a snap presidential election.

Nazarbayev, who ruled oil producer Kazakhstan for almost three decades, handpicked the 66-year-old career diplomat as his successor when he stepped down in March, Reuters reported on Monday.

Nazarbayev, 78, remains chairman of the influential Security Council and leads the ruling Nur Otan party.

With Tokayev winning nearly 71 percent of the vote in the presidential race, other six rivals won totally 29 percent of the vote.

Tokayev, meanwhile, received congratulations from fellow Central Asian leaders such as Uzbek and Kyrgyz presidents.

“We must unite to work for the future of Kazakhstan,” Tokayev’s campaign website quoted him as saying.

Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter Dariga became the speaker of the Senate in March, the post previously held by Tokayev.

Russia, one of Kazakhstan’s closest allies and trading partners, expects to maintain a “brotherly” bond with its oil-rich neighbor during Tokayev’s tenure, said Sergey Zheleznyak, a member of the State Duma International Affairs Committee.

“The new head of Kazakhstan’s outlook allows us to expect that our old strategic partner will continue to preserve and develop good neighborly relations, enhancing ties between the Russian and Kazakh peoples,” Zheleznyak’s press service was quoted as saying by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

Kazakhstan’s Central Election Commission reported a turnout of 77 percent.


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