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U.S. Embassy announces Administration's position on referendum to prolong powers of Kazakh President

Politics Materials 4 January 2011 22:12
The U.S. government believes that replacing the presidential election in Kazakhstan with a national referendum would be a departure from democracy in the country, the U.S. Embassy in Astana said.
U.S. Embassy announces Administration's position on referendum to prolong powers of Kazakh President

Kazakhstan, Astana, Jan. 4 /Trend, A. Maratov/

The U.S. government believes that replacing the presidential election in Kazakhstan with a national referendum would be a departure from democracy in the country, the U.S. Embassy in Astana said.

"We are closely following the suggestions of citizens and officials of Kazakhstan to hold a national referendum to extend the powers of President Nazarbayev until 2020", - says a press release of the Embassy.

The Embassy noted that Kazakhstan had reiterated its commitment to move towards democracy during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Astana, which it held on December 1-2 as the OSCE chairing country.

"In our view it is important that the government and the citizens of Kazakhstan would respect their international commitments and continue to strive for free and fair elections," says the Embassy's statement.

At the end of last year an initiative to hold a referendum to extend the mandate of the current president until 2020 was put forward.

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