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Kazakh State Media Publishes Law Proclaiming Nazarbaev 'Leader Of The Nation'

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has not signed the law, but has not formally vetoed it.
ASTANA -- Kazakhstan's state media outlets today printed the text of a law giving President Nursultan Nazarbaev special powers for life, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

According to the law, Nazarbaev receives the status of "leader of the nation." As such, he cannot be prosecuted for any crimes, and his property and that of members of his family cannot be confiscated.

The constitutional law "On the Leader of the Nation" was adopted by both chambers of parliament -- the Senate and Mazhlis -- in mid-May and signed by their respective chairmen and by Prime Minister Karim Masimov.

Nazarbaev himself refused to sign the law. He argued that the title of "leader of the nation" cannot be bestowed by means of decrees or laws.

On June 4, the parliament officially accepted Nazarbaev's refusal to sign the law. Kazakh laws make provision for a law to take effect without the president signing it if the president does not formally veto it.

It's not clear if the law has entered into force, but one of the lawmakers who proposed the law said it is going into effect because it has been published in state media.