Kazakhstan Senate names ex-president Nazarbayev's daughter as speaker

AFP Astana, Kazakhstan Mar 20, 2019, 03.18 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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State news agency Kazinform said senators had voted to elect 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.

Kazakhstan's Senate on Wednesday named ex-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 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.

Nazarbayeva is the eldest and most politically prominent of 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 Wednesday.

The Senate position is second in line to the presidency according to the country's constitution.   

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

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

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