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Nazarbayev Gets New 'No. 2'

ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Kazakhstan has appointed former Prosecutor General Kairat Mami as speaker of the Senate, a position that would require him to assume the presidency should President Nursultan Nazarbayev leave office suddenly.

Senators on Friday rubber-stamped Nazarbayev's nomination of 56-year-old Mami, who has also previously worked as head of Kazakhstan's Supreme Court and deputy head of the presidential administration.

Mami replaces Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, who was appointed by the United Nations last month as director-general of the UN office in Geneva.

The constitution stipulates that the Senate speaker would assume presidential powers for the remainder of any existing term, should the president become incapable of fulfilling his duties.


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