Kazakhstan’s interim president on Tuesday ordered an early presidential election in two months’ time.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who became the acting head of state after last month’s unexpected resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev, said in a televised address to the nation that the vote will be held on June 9.
Tokayev hasn’t yet announced his intention to seek the presidency, but he’s widely seen as the top candidate.
Nazarbayev took the helm in Kazakhstan when it was still part of the Soviet Union and led it for three decades.
The 78-year-old has retained the honorary title of “Elbasy” or “Leader of the Nation” and is expected to continue to wield considerable political power as chairman of the nation’s Security Council and the head of the ruling Nur Otan party.
Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter has been named speaker of the upper chamber of parliament.
Ending weeks of speculation that she could seek to succeed her father, Dariga Nazarbayeva’s aide said in remarks carried by the Tengrinews agency that she has no intention to run.