Kazakh President wins increased powers

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has approved constitutional amendments previously passed by the parliament. He will now be able to take part in elections again as there are no more restrictions on the number of presidential terms.

Meanwhile, the presidential term in Kazakhstan will be reduced from the current seven years to five.

This provision will come into force in 2012 after Nazarbayev's current term is over.

The amendments have also increased presidential power as he now has more opportunities to control the government and has the right to dissolve the parliament.

To balance these power shifts the parliament has also received some new powers, including the right to appoint two thirds of both the central electoral committee and the constitutional council.