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Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's family has chosen Prime Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov as the successor to the president, Sergey Ivanov suggested in an article published on the Kazakh opposition's Eurasia web site on 14 February. He said that Tasmagambetov was the only man in the president's entourage to have all the pluses for the family, including the fact that he was not directly related to the president, unlike previously- mentioned possible candidates, which means that the West will have nothing to reproach him for from that point of view. He also said that Nazarbayev plans to rule the country indirectly even after giving up power. He added that, among other things, the president could marry his eldest daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, who is married to Rakhat Aliyev, former deputy head of the presidential bodyguard service, off to Tasmagambetov in order to achieve his plans. The following is the text of the report, entitled "Nazarbayev has identified his successor". Ellipses as published. Subheads have been inserted editorially.
Start of election campaign
The first, and maybe the last, president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, will never opt for the true democratization of the country's political life, nor will he decide to hold honest and fair elections. For present-day Kazakhstan, this is an axiom that requires no proof. However, time flies inexorably. Nazarbayev has been sitting in the major state office for three terms (!) running. The year 2006, which was individually declared by him to be the year of fresh presidential elections, is not far off. Preparations for a campaign that is vitally important to the 61-year-old politician has already started.
The fact that Imangali Tasmagambetov, 46, who is a loyal companion of Nazarbayev's, was suddenly (also individually) appointed the second man in the state is obvious evidence of this. Against the background of the regime's economic and political incompetence, this step by Nazarbayev is his last resort and last ace of trumps. In fact, there are almost five years to go before the official presidential elections, but if one listens to our president, he cannot but cry because of affection for his …