Kazakhstan to hold presidential elections in April

ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakhstan on Friday announced that it will be holding presidential elections on April 3, much earlier than the originally scheduled elections for 2012.

The announcement was made through a presidential decree signed by 70-year-old President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled the country since the Soviet Union dismantled, RIA Novosti reported.

On Monday, the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan declared the proposed referendum prolonging the president's term until 2020 unlawful and anti-constitutional, and even though Nazarbayev had the right to veto the decision, he refused to do so.

Nazarbayev later described the situation as a "historic democratic lesson of obeying the constitution," the paper said. "Guided by the country's highest interests, I decided not to hold the referendum," he added.

The announcement was praised by the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.


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