Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has been inaugurated as only the second elected president in Kazakhstan’s history, after winning polls marred by a police crackdown and slammed by foreign monitors for “widespread voting irregularities.”
Mr Tokayev, the hand-picked successor to longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev, pledged that “different opinions, united nation” would be the slogan of his presidency, during the ceremony in the recently renamed capital Nur-Sultan.
The 66-year-old career diplomat Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was shown kissing the state flag in a ceremony broadcast on state television that was presided over by Nursultan Nazarbayev and marked in ceremonial pomp by the national anthem and artillery salutes.
“I solemnly swear to faithfully serve the people of Kazakhstan, strictly follow the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan, guarantee the rights and freedoms of citizens (and) conscientiously fulfil the high duties entrusted to me,” Mr Tokayev said as he took his presidential oath. Nursultan Nazarbayev’s announcement in March that he was stepping down from the presidency and naming Mr Tokayev interim leader shocked Kazakhs who had lived under his rule since Soviet times.