May 18,2007 00:00
ASTANA, Kazakhstan - Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev could now become president for life thanks to a recent vote by the country's Parliament.
The nation's lawmakers recently voted in favor of adopting a constitutional amendment that officially grants Nazarbayev the right to repeatedly seek re-election until he decides to stop, Interfax reported Friday.
The amendment, drafted by a special committee, was designed to allow the nation's first president from being hampered in his re-election efforts under Point 5, Article 42 of the constitution. That section said no single candidate for the presidency can seek the nation's top position for three terms in a row. However, term limits will be reinstated for subsequent presidents, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Parliament also reduced the length of each term from seven to five years after 2012, just after Nazarbayev's current term ends, RIA Novosti said.
Nazarbayev, who is 66 and has ruled the country for 18 years, must officially approve the changes.
Yermek Zhumabayev, who led the committee that created the amendment, said the changes were warranted by Nazarbayev's performance, "as well as the need to bring ongoing economic and political reforms to conclusion."
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