Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has announced his resignation from the presidency, saying presidential powers will be filled by the president of the Senate until the next presidential election.
Nazarbayev said in a televised address to the Kazakh people that he had decided to give up the presidency, adding that he would retain the post of president of the National Security Council in the republic.
Nazarbayev pointed out that presidential powers in the Republic will be occupied by the President of the Senate, Qasim Jomart Tokayev, under the Constitution until new presidential elections are held.
Nazarbayev, 79, has been president of Kazakhstan since 1990 and in 2015 he was elected to a fifth term and his term expires in April 2020.
Tokayev was born in 1953 and graduated from the Institute of International Relations of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow and had previously worked diplomatically during the Soviet Union and then served as Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and its Foreign Minister.