Snap Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan Slated for April 26

© Sputnik / Michail Klimentiev / Go to the photo bankPresident of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev - Sputnik International
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Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Wednesday signed a decree to hold early presidential elections in 2015 instead of 2016 to avoid any chance of political instability when the global economic crisis peaks next year.

The buildings of the Presidential Palace and the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Sputnik International
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ALMATY (Sputnik) On February 14, the council of the Kazakh People’s Assembly proposed holding presidential elections in 2015 instead of 2016. Senator Kuanysh Sultanov said, explaining reasons behind the proposal, that “the global economic crisis will peak in 2016 and, taking into account the difficult geopolitical situation worldwide, this initiative is timely.”

“In the interests of the people… [I] have signed a decree to hold early presidential elections on April 26, 2015,” the Kazakh leader said in a state television broadcast.

The statement was made after the Kazakh People’s Assembly, a political body representing the country's various ethnic groups, on February 14 proposed holding presidential elections in 2015 instead of 2016. Senator Kuanysh Sultanov said, explaining reasons behind the proposal, that “the global economic crisis will peak in 2016 and, taking into account the difficult geopolitical situation worldwide, this initiative is timely.”

Speaking in the broadcast on Tuesday, Nazarbayev also added that the earlier proposed presidential and parliamentary election dates coincide, which contradicts the country’s constitution.

Nazarbayev, who has ruled the country since 1989, said he was as yet undecided on whether to run in the polls.

The previous presidential election in Kazakhstan took place in 2011. Before the election, the vast majority of Kazakh citizens proposed to hold a referendum to extend Nazarbayev’s credentials until 2020. However, he rejected the idea, preferring an official election instead. In 2011, over 95 percent of Kazakh citizens voted for Nazarbayev.

The Kazakh constitution stipulates that the same person cannot be elected as the country’s president more than twice in a row. However, the first president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev is exempt from the law.

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