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Kazakh Parliament's Upper Chamber Calls For Early Presidential Poll

ASTANA -- Kazakhstan's upper chamber of parliament has asked President Nursultan Nazarbaev to set a date for early presidential poll.

Fourty-one out of 42 members of the Senate voted for the initiative on February 19.

The lower chamber of the parliament, Mazhilis, approved the document on February 18.

The presidential election had been scheduled for 2016.

But the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, a constitutional body chaired by Nazarbaev, proposed on February 14 that the vote be held this year.

The assembly said an early election would be crucial to "ensure the continuity of the current policy" and to strengthen the economy.

It also said Nazarbaev needs another term to steer Kazakhstan through the ongoing economic crisis.

Nazarbaev, 74, has ruled the oil-rich country since 1989.

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