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Nazarbaev Signs Law Barring 'Ordinary' Kazakhs From Seeking Presidency

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (file photo)

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has signed into law a measure that bars people without previous government experience from running for president.

According to the law signed on July 11, only Kazakh citizens with at least five-years of experience at official posts can register as presidential candidates.

Additionally, under the constitution, presidential candidates must be at least 40-years-old, born in Kazhakstan, have at least 15 years of residence in the country, and speak fluent Kazakh.

The presidential term is five years long and one person may only serve two consecutive terms.

However, Nazarbaev, who has ruled the oil-rich Central Asian nation of 18 million since 1989, can be elected an unlimited number of times in accordance with the special Law on the First President.

Kazakhstan's last presidential election was held in April 2015, and Nazarbaev, 77, won his fifth term with 97.7 percent of vote.

None of elections held in Kazakhstan have been considered free or fair by the West.

With reporting by
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