Kazakhstan long-time leader proposes cutting term after 2012
( RIA Novosti ) - Kazakhstan's president, who has led the Central Asian state for 18 years, proposed changing the Constitution to cut a presidential term from seven to five years after 2012 as a "democratic" measure.
"I propose reducing the term of presidential office from seven to five years," Nursultan Nazarbayev, 66, told parliament Wednesday, adding the new law would only come into effect after 2012 when he is expected to leave office.
"We want to emphasize our democratic commitments," said the president of the energy-rich former Soviet republic, which under Nazarbayev has posted high economic growth and relative stability stemming from vast oil and gas reserves. The country's GDP grew 10.6% last year and 9.4% in 2005.