Astana, March 20 (IANS) Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday was sworn in as the President of Kazakhstan, following resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev, 78, after almost 30-year rule on Tuesday.
Tokayev who assumed the leadership of the Central Asian country as President of the Senate took the oath in a plenary session of both Houses of Parliament.
“I solemnly vow to serve the people of Kazakhstan, strictly comply with the Constitution, guarantee the rights and freedoms of citizens and faithfully exercise the high responsibilities of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan entrusted to me,” the President said.
According to the Kazakh Constitution, Tokayev will serve as head of state until April 2020, when Nazarbayev’s term was due to end.
In his inauguration speech, the 65-year-old Kazakh leader said Nazarbayev’s decision to resign was “a sign of his greatness as a politician of global and historical significance.”
“The Republic of Kazakhstan owes all its achievements and successes, and in particular its sacred independence, to Nursultan Abishevich (patronym) Nazarbayev,” he said.
He recalled his predecessor, holds the influential positions of Chairman of the Security Council of Kazakhstan and the ruling party Nur Otan, a clear message that the country would remain predictable and unchanged.
In 2010, he was declared by Parliament “Leader of the Nation,” a title that gives him weighty influence for life in all matters related to the country’s security, foreign and domestic policy.
“The opinion of ‘Elbasi’ (Leader of the Nation) will have top importance in the development and adoption of measures of a strategic nature,” Tokayev said.
“I consider it essential to perpetuate the name of our great contemporary, the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, as follows: Our capital must bear the name of our President and be called Nursultan,” Tokayev proposed.