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Kazakh President’s Office Hints At President-For-Life Proposal

Nazarbaev has led Kazakhstan for more than 20 years.

Nazarbaev has led Kazakhstan for more than 20 years.

ASTANA -- A recommendation that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev become the country's president-for-life is being publicized by the President's Office, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Nazarbaev's official website published a report about his recent trip to the western Aqtobe region, stating that local history professor Zakratdin Baidosov and school principal Yulia Savchenko thanked Nazarbaev for his policies on behalf of all the people there.

Baidosov was quoted by the presidential press service as telling Nazarbaev that "the people always vote for you.... We think there is no need to hold presidential elections in the future. You should always lead Kazakhstan. It is necessary to adopt amendments to the constitution."

The opposition newspaper "Respublika" quotes an anonymous source in Astana who predicted that a proposal for Nazarbaev to be given a lifelong presidency would be made this month during a parliament session.

The constitution was changed in May 2007 to allow Nazarbaev to run for an unlimited number of presidential terms. He has now led the former Soviet republic for more than 20 years.

The next presidential elections in Kazakhstan are due to take place in 2012.