Kazakhstan lawmakers ask Nazarbayev to dissolve parliament

ASTANA (TCA) — The lower chamber of Kazakhstan’s parliament, the Mazhilis, has asked President Nursultan Nazarbayev for its early dissolution “in connection with the aggravating economic situation in the country”.  

Mazhilis Speaker Kabidolla Zhakypov announced at the January 13 session that a proposal to dissolve parliament had been unanimously supported, RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service reported.

The proposal was initiated by a group of lawmakers a day after Kazakhstan’s national currency, the tenge, reached a new low against the dollar as Kazakhstan’s economy struggles with the continued sinking of global oil prices and the impact of Russia’s economic crisis.

According to the Kazakh legislation, the president can dissolve the Majilis and schedule snap elections to be held within two months after the parliament’s early dissolution.

The current Majilis’ term was due to end in autumn 2016.

Nazarbayev’s spokesman Dauren Abayev said later on January 13 that the president would make a decision on the lawmakers’ initiative after a thorough analysis.

Snap elections of the Mazhilis would be another “political show” that would not seriously effect on the situation in the country, Kazakh political analyst Dosym Satpayev told Novosti-Kazakhstan news agency.  

“Kazakhstan has a longtime tradition of holding snap parliamentary elections,” he said. “The previous elections in 2012 were snap elections too. In fact it does not matter, since the parliament as a political player is not a very strong structure, and its members representing the existing political parties are of no serious interest for both experts and voters. Many of them were created artificially, so all political shows called ‘parliamentary elections’ in which they participate are of little interest.”    

The analyst added that by holding snap elections, the authorities are trying to divert the population’s attention from the current financial problems, but “this is an illusion”.

Sergey Kwan