Parliamentary polls not to be held in restive Kazakh town

© RIA Novosti . Anatoly Ustinenko / Go to the photo bankViolent clashes between oil workers y and police broke out in Zhanaozen in December.
Violent clashes between oil workers y and police broke out in Zhanaozen  in December. - Sputnik International
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Residents in the restive southwestern Kazakh town of Zhanaozen will be unable to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections because of a state of emergency introduced in the town following last month’s violent protests.

Residents in the restive southwestern Kazakh town of Zhanaozen will be unable to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections because of a state of emergency introduced in the town following last month’s violent protests, the chairman of the country’s Constitutional Council, Igor Rogov, has said.

Earlier this week, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev extended the state of emergency in Zhanaozen to January 31.

Violent clashes between oil workers who had been fired from a local company and police broke out in the city in December, leaving 16 people dead. The riots sparked a series of demonstrations against the excessive use of force by police in several other towns in southwestern Kazakhstan.

The state of emergency in the region, which had been due to expire on January 5, includes a night-time curfew, a ban on demonstrations and the use of copy machines, as well as traffic and other restrictions.

Kazakhstan will hold early parliamentary elections on January 15. Nazarbayev disbanded the country’s parliament and announced early polls in mid-November following the introduction of constitutional amendments providing for a multiparty parliament and designed to end the governing Nur Otan party's monopolistic grip over the legislature.

Under a new election law, a minimum of two parties will enter parliament after the polls.

 

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