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BISHKEK, November 25 (Itar-Tass) —— The deputies of local keneshs (councils) will be elected in Kyrgyzstan on Sunday.
“The elections in 416 rural districts and 25 cities will be held on the party lists,” the Central Elections Commission for elections and referenda in the republic told Itar-Tass on Saturday. “The voting for candidates in rural councils will make the only exception, as it will be held on the majority election system there,” the Kyrgyz CEC said.
The date of the elections were set on Sunday under a decree of Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev “over the expiry of the mandates of the deputies,” who were elected four years ago. “The level of political rivalry was very high during this election campaign,” the Kyrgyz CEC said with confidence. “For instance, 23 political parties are running for seats in the Bishkek council,” the CEC said.
Local experts linked this situation with the powers of Bishkek deputies, which were granted the right to elect the Bishkek mayor under the new Kyrgyz constitution. The parties are to clear a 7% election hurdle to be elected in the city council.
The Kyrgyz authorities are seeking to make the electorate sure that they will avert the use of the administrative resource this time as well. Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev has also made similar statements, pledging to fire local chief executives for the attempts to use the administrative resource. However, this time the CEC also did not refuse from putting special marks on the fingers of the voters that cannot be washed out for several days. “This is done to avoid the rigging of the election returns,” the CEC explained.
The police staff of the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry was put on high alert over the elections several days ago, the republican Interior Ministry told Itar-Tass. The guarding of public places and strategic facilities was reinforced. “This is a routine practice for such public and political events,” a source in the Interior Ministry reported. A total of 5,000 policemen and about 9,000 voluntary guards will protect the public order, particularly at about 2,000 polling stations.
2.5 million Kyrgyz citizens are put on the lists of voters for the elections in the local councils.