Politics • 16 October, 2017

Kyrgyzstan chose its president

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Nearly 1.7 million Kyrgyz citizens went to the polling stations on Sunday to elect a new president. At 8:00 a.m. Bishkek time, elections began in Kyrgyzstan.

For the title of President claimed 11 candidates: Ernis Zarlykov, Toktaiym Umotaliyeva, Temir Sariev, Ulukbek Kochkorov, Taalatbek Masadykov, Omurbek Babanov, Arstanbek Abdyldaev, Sooronbai Zheenbekov, Adakhan Madumarov, Arslanbek Maliev.

The main race was between Sooronbai Zheenbekov and Omurbek Babanov. According to the preliminary data from Central Election Commission (CEC), Mr. Zheenbekov got 54,20 % of votes, whereas Mr. Babanov received 33,36%.

Omurbek Babanov came to the pool with his family. After voting, he discussed with journalists and expressed confidence about his victory. 

“I voted for the changes because our country can enter to the top-10 developed countries of the world. I want fair elections and I believe in myself,” said Babanov.

In his turn, Sooronbai Zheenbekov came to vote with his team. He told journalists about provocations and dwelled attention on the importance of peace in the country.   

“There were a lot of provocations and inventions. The competent authorities verify all violations. Today I voted to continuity and growth of Kyrgyz Republic. Many reforms are ahead. If we were not sure of our victory, we would not participate in elections,” said Zheenbekov.

After an announcement of CEC preliminary results, today at 12:00 p.m. Bishkek time, Mr. Babanov held a press conference, where he linked his loss to black PR.

“I lost because of the black PR and one-sided work of bodies. But I should note, that election were alternatively. Till the end of counting, no one knows who will win,” – said Omurbek Babanov.

Let us inform you, that 700 observers from 58 countries monitored elections. As CEC reports, 2375 polls were opened among the country as well 37 polls was organized abroad: Russia, Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

It was expected that 3 025 768 voters will take part in elections. As AKIpress reports, 1 692 423 people (55.93%) came to vote.

CEC chairman Nurzhan Shaiyldabekova commented on results of elections:

“Now we will continue the manual counting of ballots. We also need to receive data from our polling stations abroad. According to the law, CEC will announce the official results of the presidential elections within 20 days,” said Nurzhan Shaiyldabekova.

According to the recent data, 917 219 people voted for Sooronbai Zheenbekov and 564 573 people voted for Omurbek Babanov.

For reference, the incumbent Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, whose term expires on December 1, is not eligible for re-election, as a president can only serve for one term, according to the Kyrgyz Constitution.

The previous two Kyrgyz leaders were removed following violent riots in 2005 and 2010. Kyrgyzstan then transformed itself to a parliamentary republic, limiting presidential authority mainly to foreign policy and security issues.

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