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Nursultan Nazarbayev to run for president

11 march 2015, 22:37
Nursultan Nazarbayev at the XVI congress of Kazakhstan's ruling Nur Otan party. ©Turar Kazangapov
Nursultan Nazarbayev at the XVI congress of Kazakhstan's ruling Nur Otan party. ©Turar Kazangapov

The XVI Congress of Kazakhstan’s ruling party Nur Otan has nominated the incumbent Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev as a presidential candidate, Tengrinews reports.

The Congress took place today, March 11, in Astana. Around 2,000 people attended Nur Otan's Congress. More than 1,200 of them were delegates from different regions of Kazakhstan, members of Kazakhstan's Parliament, heads of state agencies, national companies, NGOs, Kazakh artists, scientists and intellectuals, representatives of the diplomatic corps, international organizations and the media.

Before the congress began, Anatoliy Bashmakov, Deputy Chairman of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan - the state body that put forward idea of holding the presidential elections early in Kazakhstan - called the participants of the meeting to support the nomination of Nursultan Nazarbayev as the party's presidential candidate.

He said that many people in Kazakhstan trusted Nazarbayev and this was because people wanted stability amid the unstable political and economic situation around the world. “In any case, everything comes down to the incumbent president. It is perhaps some kind of internal instinct of self-preservation, because not everything is going well in today's geopolitics. The people see the problems that Europe is experiencing, they are concerned about escalation of anti-Semitist and anti-Islamic trends, the turmoil in Libya, Middle East, Ukraine. This gets them thinking and makes them more concerned about not losing what our country has achieved so far - peace, stability and hope for a better future,” he said.

A Kazakh opinion leader and member of Kazakhstan's Academy of Sciences Kenzhegali Sagadiyev also advocated Nazarbayev as the only worthy presidential candidate.

Earlier, on March 6, President Nazarbayev declared that the participation in the early presidential elections was not part of his plans and that he would make the decision regarding his participation in the elections later. “I was at the forefront of the independence. May be, it is time to change the decorations, like they say it in the theater. When the founder of Singapore resigned, I asked ‘Why did you leave?’, he said then ‘I had been ruling for 31 years and when I saw myself on TV, I did not like myself’. ‘TV probably distorts,’ I replied. I have similar plans. But right now there is the will, aspiration and unity of the nation,” the President said.

During the Congress, 11 delegates from various regions of Kazakhstan including Kenzhegali Sagadiyev, Anatoliy Bashmakov, and Kazakh writer Akushtap Baktygereeva delivered speeches.

Eventually the participants of the congress unanimously nominated Nursultan Nazarbayev as a candidate for the coming presidential elections scheduled for April 26 this year. “We need to move forward. That is why, I will probably agree with your proposal to nominate me as a candidate. This will enable me to pursue new tasks, challenging ones, that we have to deal with,” Nazarbayev said in response to the nomination for the presidential race.

By Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina (Asemgul Kasenova contributed to the story)

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