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Nazarbaev Pledges Reforms, Stability

Nursultan Nazarbaev (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) 1 March 2006 -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev gave his annual address to the nation today, pledging reforms and "tough" measures to ensure stability.

Nazarbaev's address at a joint session of the parliament, of the Mazhilis and the Senate, in Astana was broadcast on nationwide television.

Nazarbaev said he will continue political and economic reforms, especially in restricting monopolistic activities in business. He said reforming financial institutions so they meet international standards is a priority.

Nazarbaev also vowed to maintain stability, saying a "tough system" is needed to preserve democracy.

Nazarbaev's address comes after the head of the Senate administration and members of the Kazakh state security services were implicated in the killing of prominent opposition figure Altynbek Sarsenbaev.

(Kazinform, AP, Khabar TV)

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