BISHKEK, October 30 (Itar-Tass) —— The presidential election in Kyrgyzstan is the last attempt of ex-President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his supporters to regain power, President Rosa Otunbayeva said at a polling station on Sunday.
“The Bakiyev supporters invested a lot in the election campaign,” she said.
“Any claims of the alleged use of administrative resources do not hold water. Such statements are surprising because those making them are members of the coalition government,” she said.
The Kyrgyz administration did its best to hold a free, fair and quiet election, she said. “This election creates equal possibilities for all candidates, without any exceptions. I hope that the people will vote for the country’s unity and future,” she said.
Otunbayeva, who does not run for re-election, says she will take a break before further work on the consolidation of the Kyrgyz society.
The election ended at 7:00 p.m. local time (5:00 p.m. Moscow time) and all the 2,289 polling stations closed.
“According to the latest reports, the turnout neared 50% of almost 3 million votes. The turnout information keeps coming in, and the final indicator may be larger,” the Central Elections Commission said.
Voters are more active than they were in last year’s parliamentary election. The new election laws make the turnout immaterial. The winner needs over 50% of votes in the first round. If no one gains so many votes, the second round will be held between the top two candidates. That may happen on November 13. The president will be elected for the period of six years.
The voters’ left thumb was marked in the election to prevent the same voters from casting their ballot twice. The measure caused a number of incidents. Some voters, mostly women, refused to mark their thumb with paint that won’t wash out for several days.
The mayor of Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, also refused to have his thumb marked. Nevertheless, he had a chance to cast his vote.
The count of votes started immediately after the polling stations closed down. Preliminary results will become known tonight or on Monday morning. The Central Elections Commission will release the first official results within three weeks since the vote.
There are 16 candidates in the presidential election. Local observers say that Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev has the biggest chances in the election.