What Happened: Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the chairman of the Kazakh Senate, was officially sworn in as acting president on March 20, RFE/RL reported. Meanwhile, Dariga Nazarbayeva, the eldest daughter of outgoing President Nursultan Nazarbayev, was appointed as the speaker of the Senate to replace Tokayev.
Why It Matters: Tokayev may hold the position of interim president for more than a year until the country holds presidential elections in 2020, although an early vote is possible. At the same time, Nazarbayeva's appointment preserves some level of power within the family of the outgoing president, who will maintain a significant amount of influence despite his resignation.
Background: Nazarbayev announced his resignation as president in a televised address on March 19, although he will continue serving as the chairman of the National Security Council and the ruling party.
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- The More Things Change, the More Kazakhstan Stays Important (Jan. 17, 2019)
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