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You're reading: Kazakh leader says riot-hit town to vote in election
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By exercising his veto over the Constitutional Council’s decision, Nazarbayev will allow residents of Zhanaozen to participate in the former Soviet republic’s Jan. 15 vote. Officials say 16 people were killed when riot police clashed with protesters in the town on Independence Day last month.

The Constitutional Council had ruled on Friday that the vote should not take place in Zhanaozen due to an extended state of emergency in the town, where a months-long strike by sacked oil workers erupted into Kazakhstan’s worst violence in decades.

"The president of Kazakhstan took into account the disquiet and concern of Zhanaozen’s residents at the fact their electoral rights were limited by the Constitutional Council’s decision," the presidential administration said in a statement.

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