Nursultan Nazarbayev’s daughter of appointed Speaker of Parliament

Experts believe that Dariga Nazarbayeva will succeed her father. Senate President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev swears in as interim president. His first official motion obtained the absolute approval: the capital Astana changes its name and becomes Nursultan.


Astana (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Dariga Nazarbayeva, daughter of Nursultan Nazarbayev who unexpectedly resigned two days ago after having ruled Kazakhstan with an iron fist for almost 30 years, has been named Parliament Speaker.

In all likelihood she will succeed her father, who has kept the position of secretary of the ruling party Nur Otan. Meanwhile, yesterday the 65-year-old Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, president of the Senate, was sworn in as interim president. As a tribute to the last satrap of Central Asia, he immediately proposed that the capital Astana be renamed Nursultan: his first official motion obtained the absolute majority of the votes.

Nursultan Nazarbayev's power was rooted in the period before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He had been head of Kazakhstan since 1989, when he assumed the post of the local communist party secretary. In 2015 he was re-elected with about 88% of the votes, in line with the tradition of the Bulgarian majorities of the former USSR countries.

Despite his retirement, experts believe that the 78-year-old leader will continue to set the course for national politics. The appointment of his eldest daughter, 55, could go in this direction, after years of rumors of the ex-president's wish to leave power. Among the reasons that led him to step aside, as he himself stated in the public speech to the nation, that of wanting to "leave room for a new generation of leaders".

So far Nazarbayeva had maintained a low political profile. Divorced and hit by various corruption scandals, she was deputy prime minister until 2016, when she left office. Now analysts believe she will run as a party candidate in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. For Central Asia expert Arkady Dubnov, Nazarbayev "is sending everyone the message that his daughter is ready to take to the field."

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