Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev dissolved the lower house of parliament on Wednesday and called a snap parliamentary election for January 15-16, a presidential decree said.
The election from party lists will be held on January 15. Other deputies will be chosen by the People's Assembly of Kazakhstan, a consultative body loyal to Nazarbayev, the following day.
The presidential decree was published in the official gazette Kazakhstanskaya Pravda and is effective from the day of publication.
A snap parliamentary election had been widely predicted after the 71-year-old Nazarbayev won another five years in office in a presidential vote in April. The next parliamentary election had been scheduled for August 2012.
Kazakhstan's one-party lower house of parliament, Mazhilis,
asked the president last week to dissolve the chamber, in a move seen aimed at diluting the monopoly of Nazarbayev's Nur Otan ruling party in the Central Asian state.
Kazakhstan, an oil-producing former Soviet republic which has never held an election judged free and fair by Western monitors, plans to admit a nominal opposition presence to the Mazhilis lower house, now exclusively dominated by Nur Otan.
But many analysts expect the second-placed party to be widely sympathetic to the ruling party and pose no direct challenge to the leadership.
The harshly anti-Nazarbayev Alga! (Forward) party, repeatedly denied official registration, has called this election window-dressing for the West.
Changes to the electoral law will permit the second-placed party in the next election to enter parliament even if it falls short of the 7 percent threshold that guarantees a presence.
Nazarbayev's Nur Otan party, which has 98 of the lower chamber's 107 seats, controls every facet of life in Kazakhstan and is widely expected to win an overwhelming election majority.
The other nine deputies are chosen by the People's Assembly of Kazakhstan, a consultative body loyal to Nazarbayev, and do not belong to any party.
Half a dozen loyalist parties are expected to run in the polls. The Ak Zhol party, representing big business and many of the country's elite - officially the second-largest party in the country by membership, is expected to win several seats.
(Reporting by Robin Paxton and Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Michael Roddy)