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Kazakh President Sworn In For New Term

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev takes the oath of office in Astana.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has been sworn in to another five-year term in office after a landslide win in a weekend election criticized by rights groups.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have said the election -- in which Nazarbaev won more than 95 percent of the vote -- contained "serious irregularities."

Speaking at his inauguration ceremony today, Nazarbaev promised to continue work "for the further democratization of society" in comments that echoed earlier promises of political reforms.

After Nazarbaev's inauguration, the government offered its resignation, in line with the constitution, and parliament voted immediately to reappoint Karim Masimov as prime minister.

By law, Masimov must present a list of his nominees for ministerial posts within 10 days. The list then goes to Nazarbaev for approval.

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

compiled from agency reports