Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has reiterated his intention to seek another seven-year term in office in the next presidential election.
During a live call-in-show on state television Wednesday, Mr. Nazarbayev also expressed hope that his oil-rich Central Asian country will join the World Trade Organization within a year.
President Nazarbayev has ruled Kazakhstan since 1989, when the country was still part of the Soviet Union. His current seven-year term expires in January.
On Friday, the country's constitutional court settled a dispute between the election authority and opposition over the election date. It ruled the vote should be held this December, as the opposition demanded.
However, some government officials in Astana contend the election should not be held until December 2006.
Some information for this story provided by AFP and Reuters.