UPDATE: Kazakh president to run for third term

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ASTANA, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev plans to take advantage of his country's constitution and run for a third term, if the parliament votes on holding elections in December.

"The Constitution allows me to run for Kazakh president in the next elections," Nazarbayev said live on Kazakh TV channels Wednesday. "If the parliament makes this decision, I will run."

But Nazarbayev said he backed a plan for holding the elections next year.

"I always thought that the elections should be held in 2006," he said. "The Constitutional Council decided to hold the elections in December this year."

But Nazarbayev said he might invoke his executive powers.

"I have a right to veto this decision and I am considering it currently."

Nazarbayev was elected for a second presidential term ahead of schedule in January 1999. His seven-year term expires in January 2006.

Deputies of the Majilis, parliament's lower house, asked the Constitutional Council to fix the date of the presidential elections following public discussions.

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