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Kazakh President Says He'll Run For Another Term

14 May 2004 -- Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev today confirmed during a live phone-in appearance on Kazakh television that he would run for another term in office in 2006.

Nazarbaev, who has already been elected in popular polls twice, said that he would run if the people wished him to be president for another seven years.

"The constitution and laws [of Kazakhstan] allow me to run for president in the next election. So I am definitely going to run if everything is alright, with God's help. It will depend on many things and of course, this matter will be decided by the people," Nazarbaev said.

The constitution was amended prior to elections in 1999, striking the term limit for a president and making the term seven, instead of five years.

Nazarbaev also commented on the scandal that has come to be known as "Kazakhgate," allegations that Nazarbaev, his family and friends received pay-offs from U.S. oil companies for contracts in Kazakhstan.

The figure at the center of the scandal, U.S. businessman James Giffen, was due to go on trial today in the United States on charges he gave bribes for contracts.

Nazarbaev described Giffen in his television interview as simply an adviser and said the court proceedings against Giffen was a matter for the United States, not Kazakhstan.

(RFE/RL's Kazakh Service/Reuters/ITAR-TASS)

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