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Summary: 1 February 2011, Brussels - Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made the following statement today on the referendum on Kazakhstan:
“I welcome that President Nazarbayev, following the negative opinion of Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council, has decided to put an end to the initiative for extending his term in office until 2020 through a national referendum. By honouring fundamental rights provided by the present Constitution, President Nazarbayev has acted in the best long-term interest for Kazakhstan. The announced early presidential elections, which I hope will be free and fair, should provide a further occasion for confirming Kazakhstan’s compliance with accepted democratic standards.”