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ASTANA, 6 March. /TASS/. President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Friday he has long been in the republic’s presidential office and is "thinking about a scenery change." During a traditional meeting with renowned women of Kazakhstan on the eve of International Women’s Day, the head of state admitted that he had not planned to hold early presidential elections in the country.
"The election campaign has now started. The idea of holding early election has been mainly supported by women," the president said, adding that he receives many letters of support. "Frankly, my personal plans were quite different. I’ve led Kazakhstan for many years already, was one of the originators of independence. Maybe it’s time to change the scenery, as they say in the theater, I think," said Nazarbayev. At the same time, he said, there is now a "general desire, the desire of the people" in the country to continue the proclaimed initiatives.A long list of 9 presidential candidates has been formed in Kazakhstan that are to contest presidency with Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has headed the republic for 26 years. The early election, initiated by the presidential advisory Council of the People’s Assembly of Kazakhstan, is scheduled for April 26. It will be held 2.5 months prior to the 75th anniversary of Nazarbayev who has the "Leader of the Nation" title.
According to the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC), the election list of the presidential candidates includes member of the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan Turgun Syzdykov. The rest of the candidates are self-nominees and are less known to the public. Nazarbayev has promised to announce his decision to run in the election later.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has headed Kazakhstan since 1989 - then he was First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Nazarbayev was elected president.