Kassym-Jomart Kemelyevich Tokayev (Kazakh: Қасым-Жомарт Кемелұлы Тоқаев, Qasym-Jomart Kemeluly Toqaev, [qɑˈsəm ʒɔˈmɑrt kɛˌmɛluˈlə tɔˈqɑjɪf], Russian: Касым-Жомарт Кемелевич Токаев, [kɐˈsɨm ʐɐˈmart kʲɪˈmɛlʲɪvɪt͡ɕ tɐˈkajɪf], born 17 May 1953) is a Kazakh politician and diplomat. He took office as the President of Kazakhstan on 20 March 2019, succeeding Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned on 19 March 2019 after 29 years in office. Tokayev was elected president of Kazakhstan in an early election on 9 June 2019 with 71% of the popular vote. According to the OSCE, "significant irregularities were observed on election day, including cases of ballot box stuffing, and a disregard of counting procedures meant that an honest count could not be guaranteed." "There were widespread detentions of peaceful protesters on election day in major cities", said the OSCE in their Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions.
Qasym-Jomart Kemeluly Toqaev
Tokayev in 2019
|2nd President of Kazakhstan|
|Assumed office |
20 March 2019
|Prime Minister||Askar Mamin|
|Preceded by||Nursultan Nazarbayev|
|4th Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan|
16 October 2013 – 19 March 2019
|Prime Minister||Askar Mamin|
|Preceded by||Kairat Mami|
|Succeeded by||Dariga Nazarbayeva|
11 January 2007 – 15 April 2011
|Preceded by||Nurtai Abykayev|
|Succeeded by||Kairat Mami|
|11th Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva|
12 March 2011 – 16 October 2013
|Preceded by||Sergei Ordzhonikidze|
|Succeeded by||Michael Møller|
|4th Prime Minister of Kazakhstan|
1 October 1999 – 28 January 2002
|Preceded by||Nurlan Balgimbayev|
|Succeeded by||Imangali Tasmagambetov|
Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich Tokayev
17 May 1953
Almaty, Kazakh SSR, USSR
|Political party||Nur Otan|
|Residence||Ak Orda Presidential Palace|
|Alma mater||Moscow State Institute of International Relations|
He was Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan from 11 January 2007 to 15 April 2011 and from 16 October 2013 to 19 March 2019. Tokayev served as Prime Minister of Kazakhstan from 1 October 1999 to 28 January 2002 and as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva from 12 March 2011 to 16 October 2013.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was born on 17 May 1953 in Almaty. His father, Kemel Tokayev (1923–1986), was a World War II veteran and a well-known Kazakh writer. His mother, Turar Shabarbayeva (1931–2000), worked at the Alma-Ata Institute of Foreign Languages.
From 1970, Tokayev attended the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. In his fifth year, he was sent to training courses at the Soviet embassy in China for six months. Upon graduation from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1975, Tokayev joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and was posted to the Soviet Embassy in Singapore. In 1979, he returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. In 1983, he went to China for training courses at the Beijing Language Institute. In 1984–1985, he served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was then posted to the Soviet embassy in Beijing where he served until 1991 as Second Secretary, First Secretary, and Counsellor. In 1991, he enrolled at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in Moscow in a training course for senior diplomats.
In 1992, Tokayev was appointed as a Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 1993, he became First Deputy Foreign Minister and in 1994 he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. In March 1999, he was promoted to the post of Deputy Prime Minister. In October 1999, with the endorsement of the Parliament, he was appointed Prime Minister by Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In January 2002, he resigned and was subsequently appointed Secretary of State – Minister of Foreign Affairs. Tokayev continued to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs until January 2007 when he was elected as a Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Tokayev held the post of Foreign Minister for ten years (1994–1999, 2002–2007).
As a Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tokayev played an active role in the field of nuclear non-proliferation. In 1995 and 2005, he participated in the Review Conferences for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York City. In 1996, he signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in New York, and in 2005 the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in Central Asia (CANWFZ) in Semipalatinsk. He was elected Chairman of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States and of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Tokayev took part in ten sessions of the United Nations General Assembly. He held a diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
As Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, Tokayev was elected in 2008 Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). His view on the political system of Kazakhstan: "Strong President, authoritative Parliament, accountable Government" as he said at the Parliamentarian Conference in Nur-Sultan.
Director-General of the UN Office at GenevaEdit
In March 2011, the Secretary-General of the United Nations announced the appointment of Tokayev as Under Secretary-General, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva and Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Conference on Disarmament. He served as Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament. He was also the Designated Official for safety and security of UN personnel for Switzerland.
Tokayev holds a Doctorate in Political Science. He is the author of nine books and numerous articles on international affairs. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, a member of the Panel of Eminent Persons at the Munich Security Conference, an Honorary Professor of Shenzhen University, an Honorary Professor and Doctor of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, as well as a member of its Board of Trustees. He is also Honorary Dean of the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations. As Director-General of UNOG, he received the "Academicus" award from the University of Geneva. According to the Russian Biographic Institution, Tokayev was admitted as a "Person of the year – 2018".
On 19 March 2019, then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation. According to the Constitution of Kazakhstan, in case of early termination of powers, the Speaker of the Senate becomes President until the next election. On 20 March 2019, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev officially took office as President.
Immediately after the inauguration, Tokayev proposed renaming the capital city of Kazakhstan after his predecessor, and the same day the Parliament of Kazakhstan approved the renaming of Astana to Nur-Sultan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first foreign leaders to congratulate Tokayev, inviting him to visit Moscow in a joint telephone conversation with him and Nazarbayev. The Chinese government also described Tokayev as an "old friend" and "good friend".
In his first month in office, he had already met 4 world leaders, 2 of them abroad and the other two in Nur-Sultan. Two weeks after taking office, Tokayev visited Moscow in his first foreign state visit on 4 April, meeting with Putin alongside other Russian officials. During the visit, Putin offered Russian assistance to Tokayev in the construction of a proposed nuclear power plant in the country. On 14 April, Tokayev visited neighboring Uzbekistan for talks with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He had also received South Korean President Moon Jae In and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during the month of April.
On 9 April 2019, Tokayev announced early elections in June 2019. On 23 April, Tokayev became a presidential candidate for president following his nomination by the Nur Otan party. On 16–17 May, Tokayev hosted foreign leaders such as Armen Sarkissian and Mamuka Bakhtadze in the capital for the 12th annual Astana Economic Forum, the first to be hosted by its pioneer, President Nazarbayev. He also hosted the regional leaders of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Armenia and Moldova for the Eurasian Economic Union and Supreme Eurasian Economic Council summit on 29 May.
During the campaign, Tokayev was mocked on social media for his use of photo manipulation software to erase his wrinkles and double chin from official photos. Tokayev was elected president of Kazakhstan on 9 June with 71% of the popular vote. He was congratulated by foreign heads of state such as Xi Jinping, Ilham Aliyev, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Emomali Rahmon, Sooronbay Jeenbekov.
International trips as PresidentEdit
|Date||Country||City||Type of visit|
|4 April 2019||Russia||Moscow||State visit|
|14 April 2019||Uzbekistan||Tashkent||State visit|
|14 June 2019||Kyrgyzstan||Bishkek||Working visit|
|15 June 2019||Tajikistan||Dushanbe||Working visit|
|11 September 2019||China||Beijing and Hangzhou||State visit|
|23 September 2019||United States||New York||Working visit|
|October 1||Armenia||Yerevan||Working visit|
|3 October 2019||Russia||Sochi||Working visit|
|11 October 2019||Turkmenistan||Ashgabat||Working visit|
Awards and honorsEdit
- Order of the Golden Eagle (2019)
- Order of Otan (2014)
- Order of Nazarbayev (2004)
- Order of Parasat (1996)
- Astana Medal 
- Medal "25 years of independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan"
- Medal "10 years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan"
- Medal "10 years to the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan"
- Medal "10 years of Astana" (2018)
- Order of Honour (Russia, 2017)
- Order of Friendship (Russia, 2004)
- Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, III Degree (Ukraine, 2008)
- Commonwealth Order (Commonwealth of Independent States, 2007)
- Order of the Serbian Flag, 1st Class (2016)
- Jubilee Medal "20 Years of the Federation Council"
- Tree of Friendship Medal (CIS, 2003)
- CIS Diploma
Tokayev was married to Nadezhda Tokayeva, and they have a son together. Native to Kazakh, Tokayev is also fluent in Russian, Chinese and English and has knowledge of French. He was President of the Table Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan for 13 years.
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| Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
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