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Presidential elections in Kazakhstan set for April 26

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President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced on Wednesday that the early presidential elections in Kazakhstan are due to be held on April 26.

"In the interests of the people and for the sake of the general and strict implementation of the law, I have taken a decision and signed a decree calling early presidential elections for April 26," he said in an address to the nation shown in the evening of February 25.

However, the president did not mention his participation in the elections and said he “will decide on it later on.”

Early elections are to be held with the aim to avoid a clash with a parliamentary vote, that's what the officials say, refers to

According to law, Nazarbayev's term would complete in late 2016 and the parliamentary elections are scheduled for the beginning of 2017. Earlier in February, the Constitutional Court of Kazakhstan explained that Nazarbayev is not restricted by law to hold early presidential elections.

It was the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan that voiced on 14 February the initiative to hold early elections “in order to tackle the difficult economic situation in the oil-rich country.” Then the initiative was backed by Nazarbayev's ruling Nur Otan party two days later. And the upper house of the parliament of Kazakhstan, the Senate, supported the idea.

In his speech, Nazarbayev said that he did not expect a repeat of last year's shock devaluation of the tenge national currency, which was slashed by almost a fifth overnight, despite low prices for crude oil and a weakened ruble in neighbouring Russia.

February 26 2015, 12:52

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