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Parliamentary Elections Canceled in Restive Kazakh City

A state of emergency has been imposed on the city of Zhanaozen ever since rioting broke out there last month.
Kazakhstan's Constitutional Council has ruled it would be impossible to hold parliamentary elections in the restive western city of Zhanaozen, which was hit by rioting last month.

Council chairman Igor Rogov said on January 6 that since the city remains under a curfew and it would be difficult to ensure the safety of voters, the council has decided not to hold elections there.

At least 17 people were reported killed in the Zhanaozen area when a months-long protest by oil workers turned violent and police fired on a crowd of rioters on December 16.

A state of emergency was imposed in the area and later extended until the end of January. Kazakhstan is holding early parliamentary elections on January 15.

compiled from agency reports