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Kazakh Who Proposed Lifetime Presidency Gets 'Chained Constitution'

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (left) and Zakratdin Baidosov

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (left) and Zakratdin Baidosov

ALMATY -- Activists from Kazakhstan's opposition Azat party have sent a copy of the country's constitution wrapped in a chain to Zakratdin Baidosov, a history professor in the northwestern city of Aqtobe who proposed that President Nursultan Nazarbaev be named president-for-life, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

They also collected signs protesting the idea and sent a petition to Darkhan Kaletaev, the first deputy chairman of the president's ruling Nur-Otan party.

Kaletaev announced earlier this week that his party is initiating "a project on defining the status of the country's leader."

He said the legislation might include granting a lifetime presidential term for Nazarbaev.

On September 16, deputy Senate speaker Aleksandr Sudyin said the so-called "Law on the Nation's Leader" should be adopted.

In 2007, the Kazakh parliament adopted a constitutional amendment extending the presidential term to seven years and lifting the two-term limit.

The next presidential election in Kazakhstan is scheduled for 2012.

Kazakhstan will take over the leadership of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in January.