Kazakh president refuses from referendum and proposes to hold early elections (UPDATE 1)
The president's words and background about the initiative of holding the referendum were added (the first version was posted at 3:29 p.m)
Kazakhstan, Astana, Jan. 31 / Trend A Maratov /
Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev refuses from the referendum and proposes to hold early presidential elections this year.
"I decided not to hold a referendum," Nazarbayev said on Monday appealing to the Kazakh people.
"There is a difficult political situation, when as the president, I must carry the burden of historical responsibility and make a decision. There is no higher assessment for me than the support of people, " he said.
The Kazakh parliament approved amendments to the Constitution last Friday. But on Monday, Nazarbayev refused to sign the amendments, and submitted them to the Constitutional Council for consideration.
On Monday, the Constitutional Council recognized a referendum on extending the incumbent president's powers as legally incorrect and contradicting the foundations of democracy.
"I propose a uniting form. I make the proposal to hold early presidential elections, despite the fact that my current power is reduced by nearly two years. According to the law, I will submit this proposal to the parliament for discussion," he said.
A massive campaign on collecting signatures in support of this initiative took place in late 2010 and early 2011.
More than 5 million signatures of the minimum required 200,000 were collected in support of the referendum within a few weeks.
"I am sure that initiators of the referendum meant not only the extension of presidential powers for 10 years, but also the preservation of the course to prosperity, stability and harmony in the country. On the one hand, I can not reject the initiative of people. On the other hand, as the president and guarantor of the Constitution, I can not create a precedent that would create the wrong orientation for future generations of politicians," he said.
The President proposed to consider the situation not as a rejection or refusal, but as a historical lesson of democracy, presented by life.
"This is a lesson checking the president and the people for faithfulness to our Constitution," Nazarbayev said.