Kazakh leader rules out early parliamentary poll

Nazarbayev's political advisor Yermukhamet Yesrtysbayev said in June the country could hold an early poll next year to let in some opposition, including allowing more parties to stand.

Kazakh leader rules out early parliamentary poll

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of an early parliamentary election.

Kazakhstan will chair the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a democracy watchdog, in 2010 and critics have questioned its democratic credentials after the last election.

Nazarbayev's political advisor Yermukhamet Yesrtysbayev said in June the country could hold an early poll next year to let in some opposition, including allowing more parties to stand.

But Nazarbayev ruled out an early poll.

An early poll, coupled with a planned election law reform, could give the opposition a chance to win some seats in the lower house which has been completely controlled by Nazarbayev's Nur Otan party since a 2007 election.

"There are no legal or political reasons for early elections," he told a parliament session. "The elections will take place acording to the constitution, in 2012."

Nazarbayev has ruled Kazakhstan, which has attracted billions of dollars from Western investors, since 1989, first as communist leader then as president.

Last year, he signed constitutional amendments allowing him unlimited terms in office. Nazarbayev was last re-elected in 2005 with 91 percent of the vote.

He has never been elected in a vote judged free and fair by the OSCE but has overseen years of economic growth that have transformed Kazakhstan, once a windswept backyard of the Soviet Union, into a booming modern economy.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Eylül 2008, 16:16
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