Kyrgyzstan Election Update

Preliminary election results are coming out of Kyrgyzstan:

28 candidates, including 20 independent candidates, have scored a landslide victory in 75 election districts already during the first round.

Meanwhile 46 other election districts will hold the second election round on March 13. because the winning candidate did not receive more than 50% of the vote…

The Narayn region is the place of most resistance to the current government:

Thousands of demonstrators blocked two key highways for several days over the past week to protest the exclusion of aspiring candidates.

The roadblocks were removed by Saturday, but disqualified candidates in one district said they would ask supporters to express their dissatisfaction by voting against all candidates.

That is exactly what happened (as reported only here):

Elections were declared null and void in the Naryn region’s Kochkor election district because the number of those, who had voted against all candidates, exceeds that in favor of local candidates. Meanwhile specific election returns are not influenced by voter turnout levels.

Candidates will be nominated once again in the Kochkor election district that will also host repeat elections. At the same time, those candidates, who lost in the first round, have no right to take part in repeat elections.

Mass disturbances (that were organized by the supporters of three candidates, who had been forbidden by the court to run) continued last week in the Naryn region’sKochkor election district.

One reason that this is such a heated election is that the people of Kyrgyzstan are concerned that the current president will move to change the constitution this fall:

President Askar Akayev is prevented by the constitution from seeking a third term, but opposition forces have suggested Sunday’s vote would be manipulated to ensure a compliant parliament that would amend the constitution to allow him to run again.

Akayev has a son and a daughter who ran for parliament in the election on Sunday. His son won outright but his daughter did not have the 50% majority and therefore will be forced into a runoff election in March.

The reaction to this first round of voting in Kyrgyzstan will be telling in the days ahead.

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