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Snap election not to change Kazakh parliament greatly

Snap election not to change Kazakh parliament greatly

Date: 13 January 2016 19:37

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 13

By Elena Kosolapova – Trend:

It does not worth expecting significant changes in the parliament of Kazakhstan in case of snap election, Nicolas de Pedro, Research Fellow at CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), said.

The Kazakh MPs appealed to the president with an initiative to hold the early election.
“I would either expect any meaningful change in the new parliament as it will be the same and in the hands of the Ak Orda,” he told Trend.

The expert said that the organized political opposition is rather small and marginal, but with social discontent growing, any election might open a potential window of opportunity for them.

“But I would not expect big movements,” he said.

He said that taking into account that almost all electoral processes in Kazakhstan –both parliamentary and presidential ones– have been held ahead of schedule, this call for early parliamentary election comes as no surprise.

“In fact, due to the worsening economic situation and gloomy prospects it was foreseeable to some extent,” he said.

“In spite of achieving always overwhelming victories –considerations about their fairness aside–, the Kazakh authorities tend to feel nervous with electoral processes,” he said.

“President Nazarbayev renovated mandate just one year ago. So this early election will clear the electoral panorama until the next decade and Astana will have –or at least is their expectation– freer hand to adopt measures that might be highly unpopular.”

The powers of the parliament of the current convocation will expire in late 2016. However, during the plenary session, the members of the Majilis (lower chamber) of the Kazakh parliament unanimously approved an appeal to the president about the snap parliamentary election in connection with the aggravated economic situation in the country.

Later, Dauren Abayev, the spokesman for the president, said that the president will consider the MPs’ initiative about self-dissolution.

According to the constitution, in the case of early termination of the MPs’ powers, snap election must be set no later than within two months.

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