Kazakhstan’s governing Nur Otan party chose President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as its chairman on Friday, according to a tweet from his office, completing the transfer of political power from his predecessor, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Nazarbayev, who retired in 2019, retained broad powers as the chairman of the security council and the leader of the Nur Otan party, which dominates parliament, until last month. Tokayev was appointed to the Security Council at the height of the upheaval in early January.
Tokayev took a conciliatory tone in his Friday speech to the party congress, despite widespread reports of a schism between the two politicians (a number of Nazarbayev’s relatives quit or were fired from important posts during the turmoil).
“Let us give proper respect to the first president’s historic achievements, focus on his unquestionable victories and qualities, and treat any faults as lessons for our country’s future rulers,” he urged.
Nazarbayev, who has led the oil-rich country for three decades, addressed briefly before the congress via video conference, reaffirming his suggestion to elect Tokayev as chairman.
At the same convention, the party expelled Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter, Dariga, who is a member of parliament, as well as a number of other members, from its political council.