The Kazakhstan presidency said on Thursday a resident of a provincial city had asked President Nursultan Nazarbayev to stay in his post for life
The Kazakhstan presidency said on Thursday a resident of a provincial city had asked President Nursultan Nazarbayev to stay in his post for life -- a report that could be a tactic to prepare ground on the issue. Nazarbayev, 69, has run the former Soviet state for 20 years with sweeping powers and has not announced his plans for the presidential election due in 2012. But the presidential press service said Nazarbayev had visited Aktau, a hub of Kazakhstan's flourishing oil industry, on Thursday.
There, one Zakratdin Baidosov, a historian, told him: "Dear Nursultan Abishevich, the people always vote for you." "We think there is no need to hold presidential elections in the future. You should always lead Kazakhstan," the press service quoted Baidosov as saying. In the cryptic world of Kazakh politics, the reporting of the encounter was likely intended to provoke discussion on the matter. Competition for succession is heating up within the Kazakh elite but Nazarbayev has so far given no hints as to who might take over.
The report did not say how Nazarbayev reacted to the offer. The veteran leader can already run for an unlimited number of terms in office.
Editing by Angus MacSwan