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Kyrgyzstan: Voters in Kyrgyzstan cast presidential ballots | seattlepi.com

Voters in the turbulent Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan voted Sunday in a presidential election that could set a democratic example for authoritarian neighbors. While international observers have hailed the wide range of candidates on offer and recent improvements to electoral legislation, there are concerns that the vote could ignite interregional tensions.

Kyrgyzstan, an impoverished nation of around 5 million people on China’s western fringes, is home to both U.S. and Russian military air bases, making its fortunes the subject of lively international interest.

Outgoing President Roza Otunbayeva, a seasoned diplomat who served as ambassador in Washington and London and has been running the country as interim leader since 2010, will step down later this year to make way for the election winner. That sets the stage for the first peaceful transition of power in this economically struggling ex-Soviet nation’s history.

Full Article: Voters in Kyrgyzstan cast presidential ballots - seattlepi.com.

Kyrgyzstan: Twenty candidates to vie for Kyrgyz presidency | Reuters

Kyrgyzstan will choose its next president from a list of 20 candidates in an election next month that could expose divisions between the north and south of the volatile Central Asian state. Official campaigning began on Monday after the Central Election Commission named its final list of candidates for president of the strategic country of 5.5 million people, which hosts both U.S. and Russian military air bases.

The October 30 vote, which some analysts say will need a second round, will pit current Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev against heavyweight rivals from the south of the country, where central government’s grip on power is tenuous.

The election is the culmination of constitutional reforms introduced after the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April 2010. Current President Roza Otunbayeva, who led the interim government that took power, will step down on December 31.

Full Article: Twenty candidates to vie for Kyrgyz presidency | Reuters.

Kyrgyzstan: Dozens line up to run for Kyrgyz presidency | Daily Times Pakistan

Election officials in Kyrgyzstan must whittle down a field of more than 80 presidential hopefuls before a contest that analysts say could expose divisions between the north and south of the volatile Central Asian state. The Central Election Commission said on Tuesday that 83 people, including 67 independent candidates, had applied to run in the Oct 30 presidential election, the culmination of constitutional reforms introduced after last year’s revolution.

After nearly two decades of authoritarian rule that ended with the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April 2010, Kyrgyzstan is attempting to entrench the first parliamentary democracy in a region otherwise run by presidential strongmen. The new model of government makes parliament the main decision-making body and gives the prime minister more power than the president in the impoverished nation of 5.4 million, which hosts both Russian and US military air bases.

Full Article: Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan - Dozens line up to run for Kyrgyz presidency.

Kyrgyzstan: Authorities in Kyrgyzstan want to control the Central Election Commission – Omurbek Tekebayev | eng.24.kg

“Authorities in Kyrgyzstan want to control the Central Election Commission (CEC),” the leader of Ata Meken faction Omurbek Tekebayev told 24.kg news agency.

He said that there is diarchy in CEC. “The current CEC doesn’t want to hand the power to the new CEC not understanding that its historical task is completed already. Instead of worthful remaining in the history the old CEC headed by Akylbek Sariev plumped into it. And nobody noted the important thing behind numerous scandals around the CEC: it is the first time when the CEC was headed by representatives of the opposition. This is very important thing demonstrating that the system started working in spite of antagonism. However, statements and actions of authorities show that they don’t want that and are trying to control the CEC in every way,” said Omurbek Tekebayev.

Full Article: eng.24.kg.