BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — The president of Kazakhstan has issued a decree to dissolve parliament and call a snap election that will likely pave the way for a multiparty legislature.

The decree published Wednesday says the election will be held on Jan. 15.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev said at a government Tuesday that the election should be brought forward, from August as had been scheduled, to avoid the campaigning season coinciding with an anticipated global economic downturn.

The vast oil-rich former Soviet nation’s parliament is currently occupied exclusively by Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan party.

Under new election rules approved in 2009, the party that wins the second largest number of votes will be allocated seats even if it fails to pass the 7 percent threshold normally needed to get into parliament.

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