Nazarbayev says to run in presidential election

>>He also says that it will shortly be time for a change>>

MARCH 11 (The Conway Bulletin) — Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev declared he would run in a presidential election set for April 25.

His announcement ended speculation generated last week when he appeared to suggest this it was time for change.

Instead, live at a conference held by his Nur Otan party, Mr Nazarbayev declared that he would look to extend his 26-year-long reign over Kazakhstan.

“There is no bigger reward or happiness than to have the trust of my nation,” he said. “This inspires and invigorates me, and this is why I look youngish.”

Mr Nazarbayev is 74-years-old and has run Kazakhstan since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

He called an early presidential election this month after his supporters asked him to underline his authority during an increasingly turbulent economic time.

But succession issues are still at the forefront of Kazakhstan-watchers agenda because only last week Mr Nazarbayev appeared to suggest that he may call it a day.

“I have run Kazakhstan for many years already, I stood at the cradle of its independence, so maybe it was time to ‘change stage’, as they say in a theatre,” he said in televised remarks on March 8.


>>This story was first published in issue 222 of The Conway Bulletin. The Conway Bulletin is a fully independent weekly newspaper covering Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

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