Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been sworn-in for another seven-year term, after a landslide election victory last month.
The elaborate ceremony took place Wednesday at the presidential palace in the capital, Astana. Mr. Nazarbayev read his oath of office and kissed a light-blue national flag, as hundreds of dignitaries looked on. Among those attending were Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.
The 65-year-old Mr. Nazarbayev has ruled the former Soviet republic for the past 15 years. During that time, Kazakhstan has enjoyed steady economic growth and has become a rising oil power.
Mr. Nazarbayev won re-election December fourth with 91 percent of the vote. But Western observers said the poll was flawed because of tampering with ballot boxes and intimidation of the opposition.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.