Kazakh ruling party wants to extend Nazarbayev's 26-year reign

February 16, 2015 10:57 AM

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Kazakh ruling party wants to extend Nazarbayev's 26-year reign

ALMATY (Reuters) - The ruling party of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Monday it wanted the veteran leader to extend his term in an early election this year, in a sign the oil-rich nation's elite sees no apparent successor after his 26-year grip on power.

The 74-year-old former steel worker, popularly nicknamed "Papa", has ruled his vast Central Asian nation of 17 million with a strong hand since 1989 when he became the head of the local Communist Party.

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