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Kazakh Parliament Backs Referendum To Extend Leader's Rule

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (file photo)
Kazakhstan's parliament has approved a plan for a referendum on extending the presidency of long-serving President Nursultan Nazarbaev until 2020.

On December 27, Kazakhstan's central election commission formally registered the motion to hold the referendum after allegedly receiving a petition from a citizens' forum.

If the plebiscite is agreed, Kazakhstan will bypass a presidential election set for 2012 and Nazarbaev will serve for another decade.

The 70-year-old Nazarbaev has ruled Kazakhstan for more than 20 years.

compiled from agency reports