BISHKEK, October 30 (Itar-Tass) —— Kyrgyzstan will have presidential election on Sunday. According to the new legislation, election stations will open from 8 o’clock in the morning local time /06:00 Moscow time/ through to 19 /17:00 Moscow time/, the country’s Central Elections Commission on Elections and Referendums /CEC/ said.
Earlier, election stations used to be open for an hour longer.
The ballots contain names of 16 candidates and a line ‘against all’. In the very beginning of the election campaign, 83 candidates nominated themselves. But several days before the registration was over, the number reduced. them refused to participate in the election or failed to meet legal requirements. For example, many candidates failed an examination in the state Kyrgyz language, did not make a deposit or failed to form up an election fund in time. The country printed the ballots several days earlier. They contain names of 24 candidates. Later, five of them withdrew their names from the list, and the elections commission had to cross out manually their names from almost three million ballots.
CEC reports that all the candidates spent for the agitation campaign about 135 soms /three million dollars/.
The country’s police reports about 6,500 staff and 14,000 volunteers who will guard the election stations throughout Kyrgyzstan. The citizens abroad will be able to vote at 29 stations, organised in 23 countries.
Local experts say that acting Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev is the campaign’s favourite. He may rather compete with former Speaker of the parliament Adakhan Madumarov and with Deputy Kamchybek Tashiyev. If Atambayev failes to be supported by 50 percent of voters who come to the election stations, the second round will be organised. This scenario is complicated for the acting prime minister, as supporters of Tashiyev and Madumarov, who come from the southern regions, may get united.
Experts cannot rule out that such a situation may cause confrontation between Kyrgyzstan’s northern and southern regions, though acting President Roza Otunbayeva says there are no grounds for it.
Over 20 years of independence, Kyrgyzstan will be electing its president for the sixth time now. Earlier winners were only two people – Askar Akayev and Kurmanbek Bakiyev. They both were overthrown in mass disorders and had to leave the country.
Early results of the election may be voiced on Monday, October 31. CEC may publish official results in several weeks’ time after Bishkek receives and processes documents from all election stations, both domestic and those organised abroad.
In compliance with the new Constitution, Kyrgyzstan elects its president for one term of six years.