NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – The Extraordinary XIX Congress of Kazakhstan’s ruling party, Nur Otan, will hold an Extraordinary XIX Congress on 23 April in the newly-renamed capital of Kazakhstan – Nur-Sultan, with the participation of the party’s chairman and former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The party will use the occasion to nominate a party candidate to participate in the Central Asian energy giant’s June presidential elections.

Nazarbayev’s successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, called early elections on 9 April three weeks after the resignation of Nazarbayev, who ruled the former Soviet republic for almost 30 years. “The decision to call the elections was made following consultations with Nazarbayev. “As head of state…I guarantee that the elections will be held in a clean, transparent, and fair manner,” said Tokayev.

Nazarbayev said he would remain as head of the pro-government Nur Otan party and the country’s influential Security Council after his resignation to guarantee a smooth transition of power. Tokayev also announced the nomination of Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, as speaker of the country’s Senate.

In his inauguration speech, Tokayev stressed that the people of Kazakhstan owe their achievements and successes, as well as their independence, to Nazarbayev.

In addition, Tokayev signed the decree to officially rename the country’s capital Astana after the Nazarbayev – a decision that was endorsed by the country’s Constitutional Council following a parliamentary vote shortly after the 78-year-old Nazarbayev stepped down.