ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Kazakhstan should cancel the next presidential election in 2012 and extend Nursultan Nazarbayev’s rule until 2020 via a referendum, a self-described citizens’ forum proposed on Thursday.
Nazarbayev, 70, plans to run for a new term in 2012. But an 850-member forum of “representatives of Kazakhstan’s public,” held in the eastern city of Ust-Kamenogorsk, appealed to the Kazakh parliament to approve a plebiscite to extend his term, local media reported.
The forum was a motley gathering of Kazakhs including farmers, academics, war veterans and district council members. The state-dominated media did not flag the meeting in advance and it was unclear who initiated it.
Neither state officials nor legislature representatives commented on the initiative.