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Kazakh Parliament Supports Pensions Bill


Almaty, June 12 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakhstan's parliament gave its support to a controversial pensions bill today.

Deputies voted by 76 to 29 in favor of the bill to raise retirement ages by three years. This means women will now retire at age 58 and men at 63. The action amounted to a vote of confidence in the government by the deputies, who had previously rejected the idea.

Under a constitution authored by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president would have had either to dissolve parliament or dismiss the government if the legislature had voted against the bill.

Kazakhstan has had a patchy parliamentary history since independence in 1991. Nazarbayev persuaded the Soviet-era chamber to dissolve itself at the end of 1993. Its successor was dissolved in early 1995 after a court ruled it had been elected illegally. The current twin-chamber legislature, elected last December, has much-reduced powers under the new constitution.
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