Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Wednesday dissolved the lower house of parliament and called a snap parliamentary election for Jan. 15-16, Reuters reported.

The news agency said a presidential order noting the call for election was published in the official gazette Kazakhstanskaya Pravda and is effective starting the day of publication.

Reuters said the election from party lists will be held on Jan. 15 and other deputies will be chosen by the People's Assembly of Kazakhstan the next day, according to Reuters, noting that People's Assembly of Kazakhstan is a consultative body loyal to Nazarbayev.

The order follows a petition by members of parliament who last week asked the President to dissolve the body. More than 50 parliamentarians on Thursday signed a petition calling for Nazarbayev to dissolve Parliament, which was the prelude to an election.

Nazarbayev's top political adviser, Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, has also said that Jan. 15 was the date favored for the election.

Back in October, a court in Almaty, Kazakhstan's financial center, suspended the Communist Party for six months because it was reportedly trying to build a partnership with the banned Alga political party, according to The Telegraph.

The Communist Party leaders have said the ban was politically motivated and that it was designed to exclude it from parliamentary election.

Although Kazakhstan has been independent since 1991, it has never held an election judged by international observers to be free and fair, according to The Telegraph.

Nazarbayev, who has ruled throughout Kazakhstan's post-soviet era, won a presidential election in April, with 95 percent of the vote.