Kazakh president calls snap polls


Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Friday called a presidential election for 3 April. The announcement came two days after parliament amended the constitution to allow the president to hold early elections.


Nazarbayev is expected to win easily as the opposition holds no seats in parliament.

On Monday, the country’s constitutional court ruled against a plan to hold a referendum on prolonging Nazarbayev’s rule to 2020.

His term is due to expire in 2012. The president still had the right to overrule the court’s decision, but he agreed to it the same day after pressure from Kazakhstan’s ally the United States.

Nazarbayev has ruled Kazakhstan since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Pre-election campaigning is to start on 3 March and end on 1 April, according to the Central Elections Committee.

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