Kazakhstan Parliament approved plan for presidential term extension referendum

On December 29, 2010, the bicameral Kazakhstan Parliament agreed to hold a referendum proposing to bypass the next two presidential elections and extend President Nursultan Nazarbayev's reign until 2020. In June 2010, Nazarbayev had refused to sign a law that would have granted him presidential powers for life — even if he were no longer president — despite the law passing the upper and lower houses of Parliament. Supporters have espoused executive consolidation for Nazarbayev, pointing to his record as a nation-builder and only leader of the country following its independence from the Soviet Union. In February 2011, the Parliament approved amendments to hold elections in 2012, which Nazarbayev overwhelmingly won.


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