Dariga Nazarbayeva might seek to take over from her father

The daughter of President Nursultan Nazarbayev signaled Tuesday that she might seek to take over her father's office in the next elections. Dariga Nazarbayeva's statement followed the long-ruling Nazarbayev's landslide re-election to a seven-year term in a Sunday's vote that Western observers said was flawed. Asked by reporters if she had plans to run for president in the next elections, Nazarbayeva said her Asar party would consider the issue in one or two years' time. The emergence of her Asar party in 2003 sparked speculation that it was part of the president's plans for a dynastic succession. Nazarbayeva, who last year was elected to parliament, had earlier denied such plans. At the same time, Nazarbayeva hinted Tuesday that her father would hand-pick the oil-rich Central Asian nation's next president. "I believe the president will define who is going to be his successor. He will have the final say," she told reporters. Dariga Nazarbayeva, 41, controls the country's most powerful media holding, Khabar. Nazarbayev's main challenger, Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, who leads the pro-democracy For a Fair Kazakhstan alliance, alleged fraud and called for the election results, which gave Nazarbayev 91 percent of the vote, to be declared invalid. Tuyakbai won 6.6 percent, election officials said Monday. The United States said Monday that Kazakhstan's election did not meet international standards, though some improvements were shown over previous votes. An election observer mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said opposition supporters had suffered intimidation, beatings and seizure of campaign materials. It also said there was evidence that university students had been pressured by their teachers to vote for Nazarbayev and that serious violations were recorded in counting votes, reports the AP.

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