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OSCE: Kazakh bid to extend presidency violates UN rights charter

Kazakhstan Materials 14 January 2011 17:45
Kazakhstan's bid to postpone presidential elections until 2020 would violate the United Nations' human rights charter, a leading official of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) charged Friday.
OSCE: Kazakh bid to extend presidency violates UN rights charter

Kazakhstan's bid to postpone presidential elections until 2020 would violate the United Nations' human rights charter, a leading official of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) charged Friday, DPA reported.

The Kazakh parliament on Friday approved a referendum that could enable President Nursultan Nazarbayev to remain in office for two more years without an election.

The parliament's vote comes soon after Kazakhstan ended its year-long chairmanship of the Vienna-based OSCE, which focuses on democracy and human rights.

"It is particularly distressing that this referendum initiative appeared only weeks after Kazakhstan as the then-chairmanship hosted an OSCE summit that in strong terms reaffirmed all OSCE commitments, including those on democratic elections," said Janez Lenarcic, the OSCE's top human rights official.

The referendum would also violate the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lenarcic said in a statement issued by the Warsaw-based OSCE office for democracy and human rights.

Lenarcic called on the authorities of the Central Asian country to stop the initiative.

The Kazakh parliament on Friday approved a referendum that could enable President Nursultan Nazarbayev to remain in office for two more years without an election.

The parliament's vote comes soon after Kazakhstan ended its year-long chairmanship of the Vienna-based OSCE, which focuses on democracy and human rights.

"It is particularly distressing that this referendum initiative appeared only weeks after Kazakhstan as the then-chairmanship hosted an OSCE summit that in strong terms reaffirmed all OSCE commitments, including those on democratic elections," said Janez Lenarcic, the OSCE's top human rights official.

The referendum would also violate the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lenarcic said in a statement issued by the Warsaw-based OSCE office for democracy and human rights.

Lenarcic called on the authorities of the Central Asian country to stop the initiative.

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