Tokayev, who is a 66-year-old diplomat, is regarded by many Kazakhs as a safe pair of hands to take over the former Soviet republic, which is rich in oil resources and lies sandwiched between Russia and China. Tokayev was educated in Moscow and is a China expert.
The interim president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, is set to be confirmed in a permanent role as the Central Asian country's leader.
Tokayev, who took over after Nazarbayev resigned in March, is the only heavyweight candidate in the presidential election. Six others have been unfamiliar faces to most Kazakhs until launching their brief campaigns last month.
Currently, there are no opposition parties in the Kazakh parliament and Western observers have never recognized elections in Kazakhstan - which Nazarbayev used to routinely win with over 90 percent of the vote - as free and fair.
“He can be trusted to honor contracts with oil majors, which is the most important thing,” said a Kazakh businessman with interests in the energy sector.
Although Nazarbayev, 78, resigned as president, he is set to retain sweeping powers as “Yelbasy” - head of the nation - as well as leader of the security council and of the ruling Nur Otan party. The country of 18 million people will likely see a period of continuity as long as he is alive and well.
Nazarbayev’s family, which has amassed wealth and power during his rule, is also there to stay.