Kazakhstan's lower house dissolved

Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev has dissolved the lower house of parliament and set the date for early elections on August 18.

On Tuesday deputies of the lower house sent a request to Nazarbayev asking for the dissolution as the country's Constitutional Court states the lower house does not have the authority to dissolve itself.

The deputies said the dissolution was necessary so that parliament would not prove an obstacle to recent constitutional reform.

On Monday, both chambers of parliament approved a series of amendments to the constitutional law including a decrease in the presidential term from seven to five years.

The new law will come into force only after current president, Nursultan Nazarbaev's term ends in 2012.

Dosym Satpaev, an independent analyst in Astana, says that several political parties were aware of this decision in advance, and are preparing for the upcoming elections.

“It was very interesting situation because our deputies are not independent and some deputies offered this decision to stop activity of the current Parliament and believe it was not their idea. It was the idea of the Administration of the President and I would like to say that some political parties in Kazakhstan, especially opposition parties, they know about this process and now are very actively preparing for the future parliamentary elections,” informed Dosym Satpaev.