OSCE praises 'competitive' Kyrgyz vote

Six parties won seats in the Kyrgyzstan legislature, all of them pro-Russian, in Sunday's vote

OSCE praises 'competitive' Kyrgyz vote

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Monday declared Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary vote "competitive" despite significant procedural shortcomings.

Six parties won seats in the Kyrgyzstan legislature, all of them pro-Russian, in Sunday's vote.

The Social Democratic Party (SDPK), linked to pro-Moscow President Almazbek Atambayev, topped the hard-fought poll with nearly 27 percent of the vote in the former Soviet Central Asian state.

OSCE monitors said the ballot was free of serious violations but troubled by problems relating to the introduction of biometric voter registration that left some people unable to cast votes.

"These lively and competitive elections were unique in this region as, until 8 o'clock last night, nobody knew what the composition of the parliament would be," Ignacio Sanchez Amor, the leader of the security body's short-term observer mission, said in a statement.

"Impressive efforts were made to implement biometric registration and new voting technologies, but procedural shortcomings point to the need for further work," the leader of the OSCE mission said.

Respublika-Ata-Jurt, the Kyrgyzstan party, Onuguu-Progress, Bir Bol and Ata-Meken also made it into the one-chamber legislature.

SDPK, more than 20 seats short of an outright majority, will need to form a ruling coalition with one or more parties.

The last parliament consisting of five parties saw four ruling coalitions fall in the space of five years, highlighting political volatility in the country of some six million people.

Sunday's election was the first time Kyrgyzstan voters have been required to submit biometric data, fuelling fears of teething problems at polling stations.

Some complained of delays at the ballot boxes and others could not find their names on the voter rolls.

But the government hailed the new system as having minimised opportunities for the kind of widespread electoral fraud that marred previous elections.

Kyrgyzstan, which went through a bloody popular uprising and ethnic violence in 2010, is the first country in ex-Soviet Central Asia to have an election endorsed by the OSCE.

Last Mod: 05 Ekim 2015, 14:20
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