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Kazakh Party Proposes Abolishing Prime Minister Post

ALMATY -- The pro-presidential Adilet (Justice) party has proposed abolishing the post of prime minister and giving most of its powers to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Adilet Chairman Maksut Narikbaev said today at a press conference that "our 18-year experience shows that our people are committed to one ruler, one man."

He said that after "deep constitutional reform," Nazarbaev should transfer most of the prime minister's powers to the president and abolish the position.

Narikbaev added that the some presidential powers should be redistributed between the Kazakh government and parliament.

In September, the idea of making Nazarbaev president-for-life was discussed extensively in Kazakhstan following a report that a professor in western Kazakhstan had suggested it.

Nazarbaev has been president of Kazakhstan since it gained independence in 1991. He was reelected to a seven-year term on December 4, 2005, in an election that was deemed by international observers to be neither free nor fair.

Kazakhstan assumed the annual chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on January 1.