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Group Wants Referendum To Keep Kazakh President On Until 2020


A group wants to keep President Nursultan Nazarbaev in office till 2020.

A group wants to keep President Nursultan Nazarbaev in office till 2020.

An initiative group has been formed in Kazakhstan's northeastern city of Oskamen (also known as Ust-Kamenogorsk), with the group announcing that it is collecting signatures to hold a national referendum that would keep President Nursultan Nazarbaev on in office until 2020.

The rector of Semipalatinsk State University Erlan Sydykov was elected head of the group, formed by some 20 representatives from around Kazakhstan.

The group quickly and unanimously voted to start the campaign in favor of the referendum.

President Nazarbaev's current term expires in 2012, but the two previous presidential elections were moved forward.

Some in Kazakhstan's opposition think the next elections also will be moved forward to 2011.

To conduct a national referendum, the initiative group would need to collect 200,000 signatures in equal proportion from all of Kazakhstan's provinces and two major urban areas -- Almaty and Astana.

compiled from agency reports
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