Kassym-Jomart Kemluly TokayevKassym-Jomart Kemluly Tokayev is currently the Chair of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the only man to lead the country since it emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, resigned 19 March 2019. He retained much of his influence as head of the governing party. Nazarbayev also remained at the helm of the influential security council and held the formal title Leader of the Nation. Tokayev would take over as acting president for the remainder of his term which expires in April 2020.
Tokaev is compared to Yevgeny Primakov in his professionalism and international authority. Nobody doubts that the politician belongs to the upper part of Kazakhstan’s elite. Tokaev, an experienced diplomat, also carefully prepares his own appearance on the political stage, his image corresponds to the expectations of the population and is accepted by the public. The general attitude towards his image is positive. A presentable appearance, calm behavior, propriety and goodwill, tractability in contacts, analytical skills and honesty – all of these are positively assessed by the respondents. The importance of this person puts him among the leading politicians. He is known as an intelligent negotiator, who is able to defend Kazakhstan’s interests not only in Kazakh, but also in the Russian, English, Chinese and French languages.
Although Tokaev sometimes is blamed with being too soft and slow in his assessments; he can defend his opinion, and the misperception is caused by his profession of diplomacy. He negotiates using persuasion and compromise, rather than brutality and ruining his opponent’s positions.
Kasymzhomart Kemel-uly Tokaev was born on May 17, 1953 in Almaty, Kazakstan. Son of Kemel Tokaev, the popular Kazakhstani writer, and Turar Shabarbaeva. Tokaev graduated from school #25, which is known in Almaty for its good teachers and in close circles in Moscow because Vladimir Zhirinovsky graduated from there (interestingly, graduates of the same school later became quite diverse politicians, by their aspiration and methods).
Tokayev is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, the Beijing Institute of the Chinese Language and the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and he holds a Doctor of political science, the topic of his thesis being “The external policy of Kazakhstan during the period of formation of world order”. He is an Honorary Doctor and Professor of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Honorary Doctor of the Geneva Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations. Full Member of the World Academy of Natural Sciences and Humanities. Diplomatic rank - Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador.
He started his career as a practising fourth-year student in the embassy of the USSR in Beijing in 1974. After that he was sent to the embassy in Singapore. Later he worked in the central body of the MFA of the USSR. Later he supervised the first group of the Soviet practising students in the Beijing Linguistic Institute. During the period 1985 – 1991 he was the Second Secretary and later First Secretary in the embassy of the USSR in China. After graduating from the Diplomatic Academy of Russia in 1992, he came to independent Kazakhstan by Nazarbaev’s personal invitation, and he was assigned to the position of the First Deputy to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. From October 1994 until October 1999, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In October 1999 the Majilis approved Tokaev’s nomination to the position of Prime-Minister. His appointment to the position of the Prime Minister provoked much debate in Kazakhstan. A professional diplomat became the head of the government for the first time. Many observers explain it by the special position of Kazymzhomart Tokaev on the political stage – his non-participation in the fight among the clans, authority on the international stage and experience in other bodies of the government. Tokaev has been elected as the Chairman of the Council of the Leaders of the CIS and the EEC (Eurasian Economic Community). He has a diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
Tokayev served as Prime Minister of Kazakhstan from 1999 to 2002. On 28 January 2002 he resigned as Prime-Minister and was assigned to the position of State Secretary and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. On 11 February 2007 he became the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, the second person in the country. The fact that he was suggested by the President Nazarbaev for the position of the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament, who acts as the President in case of force majeur, and that the technocrat Karim Masimov was assigned to the position of the Prime-Minister showed that there was a demand for intelligent experts within the Kazakh elite during this period of innovation for Kazakhstan’s economy with the diversification of the economic and political life of society. Due to Nursultan Abishevich, a new life started for Kasymzhomart Kemelevich; he entered the national elite. This appointment to his high post was evidence that he had entered the circle of potential successors of the President.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced 11 March 2011 the appointment of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan as the new Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). Tokayev brought to this position a wealth of experience at the senior levels of Government. He also has thorough knowledge of the Conference on Disarmament and the issues surrounding the deliberations of the Conference, coupled with extensive hands-on management experience. He also brought to bear the ability to create consensus among United Nations agencies, partners in the public and private sector, academia and civil society in pursuit of the Organization’s objectives. Tokayev was then the the Chair of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan.
On October 16, 2013 by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan he was appointed to the Senate of the Parliament and elected Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Chairperson shall be chaired by the Chairperson elected by the majority of votes of the total number of deputies of the Chamber by secret ballot from among his deputies, freely acquired by the Chamber. The candidature for the position of the Chairman of the Senate is represented by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
On September 14, 2017 at the sitting of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Zhomart Kemelovich TOKAYEV was re-elected as Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan by secret ballot upon the President's suggestion.
In the parliamentary hearings on 22 September 2017, concerning the transfer of the Kazakh language to Latin script, he said, "We have a strategic task - to move to the Latin alphabet. As the Head of State noted, Copying the Kazakh language into the Latin alphabet is a step taken to integrate into the global science and education system, and the key to our spiritual integrity. We need to do this work step-by-step and compact. But you do not have to spend too long. The most important thing is that we have no right to make mistakes." K-Z. Tokayev expressed his critical attitude towards the Latin alphabet of the Kazakh language: "The National Commission has not yet made a final decision on the Latin alphabet, so it is too early to use apostrophe on the newspapers and in other places." Following this announcement, the intensive work on the introduction of a new alphabet was launched, which resulted in K. On February 19, Tokayev congratulated all of them on the "historic event".
After N. Nazarbaev, perhaps he is the official most well-known and respected abroad. During the 15 years of Kazakhstan’s independence he has acquired not only political but also economic influence – it is always possible to get large investments or cheap credits from the USA, Russia, Europe and Asia with his name.
There a couple of stains on Tokaev’s white dress. This refers to the real estate corruption scandal. The results of this old journalistic investigation can be still found on the Internet. Although many years have passed, one can still find information about the connection between the official’s family and the privatization of an historic building in the center of Almaty. At that time, the MFA couldn’t prove the official innocent, and most of the interviews moved from the front pages of newspapers to electronic pages.
Tokaev is vastly different from his colleagues in the government. Kasymzhomart Kemelevich likes long walks and reading books. While most of Kazakhstan’s officials like feasts, Tokaev doesn’t. Even the President, in a private talk with a highly ranked officials reprimanded him for the noisiness of numerous parties which he had complained about, and advised him to follow Tokaev’s example, of whom nobody can say anything bad.
He was awarded with Kazakhstan’s highest awards - orders “Parasat” and “Astana”. He is married, and has one son. Hobbies include reading memoirs and historic literature, table tennis, swimming, tennis, golf. He is the author of the books: “Overcoming. Diplomatic sketches of Kazakhstan’s minister”, “Under the banner of independence”, “Diplomacy of the Republic of Kazakhstan”, “External policy of Kazakhstan during globalization”, “The word about the father”.
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