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Election Will Be Held In Volatile Kazakh City

The situation in Zhanaozen has remained tense since deadly violence erupted there last month.
Kazakhstan's Central Election Commission and the country's Constitutional Council have approved holding parliamentary elections in the western city of Zhanaozen where violence last month left at least 16 people dead, some 100 injured, and caused extensive property damage.

The Constitutional Council ruled on January 6 that since Zhanaozen remained under curfew until the end of January it would not be possible to hold elections and guarantee voters' safety.

President Nursultan Nazarbaev vetoed that ruling on January 10, saying it deprived Zhanaozen residents of their right to vote.

The commission backed the Constitutional Council's decision but on January 11 commission Deputy Chairman Vladimir Foos said the election would go ahead in Zhanaozen.

Constitutional Council Chairman Igor Rogov said the council would not overrule the president's veto. Elections to Kazakhstan's Mazhilis, or lower house of parliament, are set for January 15.

compiled from agency reports