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Protesters stone police as Kyrgyz mayor's vote denounced "illegal"

January 15, 2014, 14:02 UTC+3 BISHKEK
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BISHKEK, January 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Demonstrations erupted in Kyrgyzstan's second city as supporters of the losing candidate in the race for mayor denounced the vote, stoned police and tried to force their way into the Central Asian state's regional administration headquarters.

Some 2,500 supporters rallied in the city's central square at Osh, dismissing the vote as "illegal". Police blocking the onslaught described the situatiion as "tense but controllable" as candidate Aitmamat Kadyrbayev took the council chair, backed by 26 of the 45 assembly members.

In Bishkek, the state's capital, Kubanychbek Kurmatov, 50, takes over with 41 of 43 council members backing the Leningrad University history graduate, hailed by analysts as one of the republic's best state-sector managers.

Kurmatov headed the state's customs authority before being appointed the government's representative in the country's Chuisk region, where Bishkek is located, last spring.

Bishkek's new mayor promised attention to problems with garbage removal, street lighting and public transport, also noting that the city's cultural life had waned dramatically from past days as the region's artistic hub.

The municipal administration would be reshuffled, he pledged, and was ready "to account for his work as early as in 100 days".

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