Kazakh Leader Nazarbayev Gets Immunity, Power to Rule for Life
I recently visited Kazakhstan for the Eurasian Media Forum. A central message of the conference was that the country was proud of the freedom that the local press enjoyed. This latest development is somewhat disturbing. We will have to wait and see what the impact will be on journalists who don't comply with the rule.
June 15 (Bloomberg) -- President Nursultan Nazarbayev became Kazakhstan’s “leader of the nation,” with immunity from prosecution for life and the power to dictate policy after retirement, as a law that he refused to sign took effect.
Lawmakers in both houses of parliament unanimously voted to grant Nazarbayev the title, which also makes his property and that of his family inviolable. The president, who turns 70 in July, refused to sign the law in an open letter and thanked his supporters for the gesture.
Yet under Kazakh law, bills that the president doesn’t sign nevertheless become law within a month if he doesn’t send them back to parliament to be reworked. The law was published today in Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, the government’s newspaper of record.