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Kazakh President Expected To Make 'Important Statement'

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev is expected to make a televised statement to the nation on January 9, his spokesman says.

Kazakh media reports quote presidential spokesman Aidos Ukibai as saying that Nazarbaev "will make an important statement."

According to Ukibai, the statement will be related to Nazarbaev's annual address to the nation.

The 77-year-old Nazarbaev -- who exercises tight control and has ruled the Central Asian country since 1989, when it was still a Soviet republic -- has chosen different dates each year to deliver his annual address.

In 2017, he made the speech on January 31.

Several days before that address, Nazarbaev announced plans to delegate some of his sweeping powers to parliament and to the government, transforming his own leadership into a role he described as "Supreme Arbiter."

The remarks sparked speculation that he was preparing for a political transition. But while constitutional amendments adopted later in 2017 brought some cosmetic alterations to power-sharing between the president, government, and parliament, no major changes occurred.

Based on reports by KazTAG, Tengrinews, and Kazinform

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