NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – The ruling Nur Otan party of Kazakhstan put forward Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev as its candidate to participate in the snap upcoming presidential elections, which will be held on 9 June.

The party congress adopted this decision on 23 April in the country’s newly renamed capital – Nur-Sultan – where former Kazakh president and leader of the Nur Otan party, Nursultan Nazarbayev, announced Tokayev as the party’s candidate for the presidency.

“As the chairman of the party, I bring up for consideration the question of the nomination of Kassym-Zhomart Kemelevich Tokayev as a candidate for the presidency. I am sure that Tokayev is the person who will follow the policy of friendship and equal rights of all Kazakhs. I urge all compatriots to support his candidacy. This will be an unmistakable choice,” Nazarbayev said at the Party Congress.

Party members unanimously supported the candidacy of Tokayev.

In turn, Tokayev stated: “I will go to the polls to continue the course launched by President Nazarbayev and ensure continuity in politics.”

Tokayev began his career in 1975 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union and was sent to work at the Soviet Embassy in the Republic of Singapore. In 1979, he returned to the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs before being sent to the Soviet Embassy in the People’s Republic of China, where he worked until 1991 as a diplomat and adviser.

In 1992, Tokayev was appointed deputy foreign minister and was later appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1994. Tokayev served as prime minister in 1999 and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan in 2003-2007 where he took an active part in the global process of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Since that time he has also served as Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament, Vice-President of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, and also Personal Representative of the Secretary General of the UN at the Conference on Disarmament, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States.