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22 November 2005 -- With less than two weeks to go before a presidential vote, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev today told the country's legislature that he sees Kazakhstan as Central Asia's leading state in the future due to what he called its democratic system and its stable economy.
Addressing a session of the Assembly of the Peoples of Kazakhstan in Astana today, Nazarbaev emphasized the role of the state's active policy on nationalities in Kazakhstan's social stability.
The assembly is a consultative body to the president comprising representatives of the nationalities living in Kazakhstan.
Nazarbaev said political pluralism have become an integral part of Kazakhstan's life, and will develop further.
The head of state added that the government will continue to support the Russian language as a major condition for Kazakhstan's integration into the world.
Under the country's constitution, Kazakh is the state language and Russian is the official language used along with Kazakh.
Nazarbaev's address came ahead of the 4 December presidential election, in which he is widely expected to win a new seven-year term.
The country has never met Western observers' standards for "free and fair" elections in its post-Soviet history.
RFE/RL's complete coverage and background of Kazakhstan's presidential election on December 4, 2005.