19 Mar 2019 19:38

Kazakh Senate Speaker Tokayev to serve as acting president until elections - Nazarbayev

ASTANA. March 19 (Interfax) - Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, speaker of the Kazakh Senate, the upper house of parliament, will serve as acting Kazakh president, outgoing president Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

"Under the legislation, if the presidential powers are terminated, then the Senate speaker serves as acting president. Presidential elections are then to be held," Nazarbayev said in a national address to the Kazakh people aired by state TV channels on Tuesday.

Tokayev was born on May 17, 1953. He graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), the Beijing Language Institute, and the Diplomatic Academy of the USSR's Foreign Ministry. He is a foreign affairs expert and holds a doctorate in political science. He is fluent in English, Chinese, and has knowledge of French. His diplomatic rank is extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador.

He served at different diplomatic posts in the central staff of the USSR's Foreign Ministry and in various Soviet diplomatic missions.

Since March 1992, he served as deputy foreign minister and first deputy foreign minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He was appointed as foreign minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan in October 1994. Since March 1999, he served as Kazakh deputy prime minister and foreign minister. He worked as Kazakh prime minister between October 1999 and January 2002.

He served as state secretary and foreign minister between January 2002 and June 2003 and as foreign minister from June 2003 until January 2007.

He was appointed as a member of the Kazakh Senate by the presidential decree and became the Senate speaker later.

Nazarbayev announced his resignation on Tuesday.