MOSCOW (AP) — Kazakhstan’s ruling party has nominated the interim president to run in the presidential election later this year.

The Nur Otan party on Tuesday voted to nominate Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who became acting head of state after the long-time leader Nursultan Nazarbayev abruptly resigned mid-March.

Tokayev, former speaker of the upper house of parliament, was considered a possible successor for Nazarbayev, who ruled Kazakhstan throughout its post-Soviet history, along with Nazarbayev’s elder daughter.

The presidential election is set for June 9.