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Former Kazakh strongman backs successor in presidential election

New leader faces task of jump-starting growth and foreign direct investment

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told a ruling party convention on April 23 he would ensure the "continuity" of his predecessor's policies, including on the economy and foreign trade.   © Reuters

NUR-SULTAN and SEMEY, Kazakhstan -- Interim leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Tuesday gained a powerful endorsement from the country's former strongman as the ruling Nur Otan party unanimously nominated him as a presidential candidate for the June 9 election.

Tokayev was appointed interim president in a constitutional procedure after Kazakhstan's long-running Soviet-era leader Nursultan Nazarbayev stepped down on March 19.

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