Kyrgyz president set for big win

The party led by Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the Kyrgyz president, is headed to an overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections according to early results.

Kyrgyz president set for big win
With nearly 70 per cent of ballots counted from Sunday's vote, the Ak-Zhol party is leading with 46 per cent, Bakyt Jumagulov, the central election commission spokesman, said on Monday.

Ak-Zhol is followed by Ata Meken, the opposition party of former parliament speaker Omurbek Tekebayev, with 9.7 per cent, Jumagulov said.

So far those are the only two parties that are certain to have cleared the 5 per cent hurdle to gain seats in the one-chamber, 90-seat legislature, he said.

The election in the poor ex-Soviet republic has been clouded by allegations of widespread fraud and tensions between rival political parties, raising concerns about the stability of Kyrgyzstan which hosts the last US base left in Central Asia.

Fraud claims

Opposition groups have accused the government of plotting to rig the vote to purge parliament of Bakiyev's political rivals. They threatened to hold mass protests if there were any signs of meddling.

"From the very beginning the election campaign has been marked by major violations," Omurbek Tekebayev, leader of the Ata Meken said.

Despite accusations of widespread irregularities, many voters said they voted for Bakiyev's party, seeing it as a guarantor for stability following years of political turbulence and street protests.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election monitoring group's verdict is also due later on Monday. The OSCE is an internationally recognised election watchdog.

Purported fraud allegations during the parliamentary vote in 2005 led to protests that drove then-president Askar Akayev from power.

The nation of five million has since been in continuous political turmoil as Bakiyev continues to clash with politicians over the extent of his powers, government appointments and frequent street protests.

Kyrgyzstan is considered the most liberal among Central Asia's five predominantly Muslim nations, but Bakiyev has faced criticism for attempts to tighten control.

Kyrgyzstan, which borders China, also hosts a Russian air base.

Source: Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Aralık 2007, 07:18