Kazakhstan Senate names ex-president's daughter as new Speaker

Kazakhstan's new president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev handed the key post of senate speaker on Wednesday to a daughter of his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev, who unexpectedly resigned a day earlier after three decades in power.
Ms Dariga Nazarbayeva's election as Speaker sets her up as a potential contender for the presidency.
Ms Dariga Nazarbayeva's election as Speaker sets her up as a potential contender for the presidency.

ASTANA • Kazakhstan's Senate yesterday named former president Nursultan Nazarbayev's daughter Dariga as its new Speaker, setting her up as a potential contender for the presidency following her father's shock resignation.

State news agency Kazinform said senators had voted to elect Ms Dariga Nazarbayeva, 55, as their new chief, the day after her father stepped down following nearly three decades as ruler of the Central Asian nation.

Ms Nazarbayeva is the eldest and most politically prominent of Mr Nazarbayev's three children and has long been mooted as a potential successor to her father.

Former Senate leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was sworn in as Kazakhstan's interim president yesterday. The Senate position is second in line to the presidency according to the country's Constitution.

Mr Tokayev's presidential mandate will last until the end of the term that Mr Nazarbayev would have served, which finishes in April 2020, but could end sooner if an early election is called.

Ms Nazarbayeva served as the country's deputy prime minister from 2015 to 2016 and has significant influence over the country's media.

Mr Nazarbayev has, in the past, rejected the idea of one of his three daughters succeeding him.

 

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2019, with the headline 'Kazakhstan Senate names ex-president's daughter as new Speaker'. Print Edition | Subscribe