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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kazakh Opposition Slams Ban on Blocs

ALMATY -- Kazakhstan's opposition criticized legislation Thursday that it said would unfairly bar parties from forming electoral blocs ahead of parliamentary elections.

The bill is part of a package of constitutional amendments proposed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev that also waives term limits for him.

Kazakhstan's two main opposition parties, Real Ak Zhol and the Social Democrats, intend to form an alliance to run in the next parliamentary election, expected as soon as this year. "The ban on electoral blocs can be explained only by the authorities' fear that the united bloc For a Fair Kazakhstan would win early parliamentary elections," the coalition said in a statement.

Government sources have said lawmakers are likely to vote to dissolve the chamber and call a vote later this year so a new parliament can be elected that adheres to the constitutional amendments.