Kazakhstan to hold early parliamentary election.

By bne IntelliNews November 17, 2011
Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev called snap parliamentary election for Jan 15. The move came after MPs asked the president to dissolve the lower chamber of the parliament (Majilis) last week. The decision was also consulted with PM and speakers of Majilis and Senate a day before. Nazarbayev ordered the central election commission to organize the preparation and holding of snap elections. He also stated that democratic vector of Kazakhstans political development must be steadfastly realized and the renewal of the parliament is needed for the extensive modernization that the country is undergoing. According to the election calendar, polls to the Majilis should be held in summer 2012. Significantly, presently only members of ruling party Nur-Otan seat in the parliament and there is no representative of opposition. At the same time, according to the electoral law amended in 2010, there must be at least 2 political parties in the parliament. The second winner of the election should be allowed to get into parliament even if it does not pass threshold. The most probably, the second political party which entering parliament will be Ak Zhol. This scenario was already signaled by presidential aide Yermukhamet Yertysbayev. In summer, the leadership of the party was changed and Ak Zhol started to portrait itself as a party representing business circles. Other parties are to weak to gain any significant support while Communist Party was suspended in autumn for 6 months and will not have opportunity to run in the election. There are several reasons for calling snap parliamentary election. First, due to 20-year anniversary of independence, Kazakhstan wants to portrait itself as a country striving for democratization but on its own way. The parliament with 2 political parties will be used to fight with the critics from human rights groups and international communities. Secondly, Kazakh authorities are trying to avoid political competition from Mukhtar Ablyazov (former owner of the biggest Kazakh bank BTA who flew to London) who sponsors Alga! Political party which was cooperating with the communist Party. Third, early election are kind of Kazakh tradition as it allows to shorten the election campaign. Worth noting, the recent presidential election held in April were also conducted ahead of time.

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