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Kazakhstan names first contenders to run for president in April

March 04, 2015, 21:29 UTC+3 ASTANA
Early elections initiated by the presidential advisory Council of People’s Assembly of Kazakhstan are scheduled for April 26, the list of nominees includes five self-nominated candidates
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© EPA/ITAR-TASS Archive

ASTANA, March 4 /TASS/. Kazakhstan has released the list of candidates to take part in the presidential elections next month. They will have to confront the incumbent head of state, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who bears the title of the Leader of the Nation.

Early elections initiated by the presidential advisory Council of People’s Assembly of Kazakhstan are scheduled for April 26. They will be held 2.5 months ahead of Nazarbayev’s 75th birth anniversary.

The list of nominees includes five self-nominated candidates, who never held key positions and whose names would not be known to the general public.

Nursultan Nazarbayev has been at the helm of the nation since 1989, when he served as Kazakh Communist party leader. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, he was elected the President of Kazakhstan. In 2007, the parliament accorded him with the right to run for president an unlimited number of times.

According to Kazakhstan’s parliamentary speaker, Kabibulla Dzhakupov, early presidential elections are needed "to turn the risks and challenges of the global crisis into new opportunities and prospects for our homeland".

Earlier on Wednesday, President Nazarbayev instructed the attorney general to ensure law enforcement in the country during the elections.

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