Kyrgyzstan to hold presidential elections in late 2011

08:12, May 21, 2010      

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Kyrgyzstan will hold presidential elections in October next year, said a deputy premier in the interim government on Thursday, as clashes continued to plague the south.

The schedule was made according to the Kyrgyz presidential election law, which demands a vote for a new head of state two months before the end of the incumbent's term, said Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Tekebayev.

The interim government, which came to power after a revolt ousted former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in early April, previously planned to hold the presidential vote this October this year, together with parliamentary elections. The arrangement was later scrapped.

The new decision came a day after the interim government named its leader Roza Otunbayeva as interim president. She will serve until the last day of 2011 and is not entitled to run in the next presidential election.

The appointment of Otunbayeva, a 59-year-old former diplomat, is still contingent on a referendum scheduled in late June on some changes to the constitution.

Tekebayev also called upon all Kyrgyz citizens to help restore social order and keep alert to destructive forces that he said have attempted to take advantage of the interim period and ethnic conflicts to destabilize the situation.

He issued the warning as violent clashes persisted on Thursday in the southern city of Jalalabad, where acting governor Bektur Asanov was attacked while trying to calm thousands of demonstrators at a local race course.

Acting Defense Minister Ismail Isakov, who had been sent to Jalalabad to help handle the tensions, was also present to negotiate with protestors.

According to the latest figures from the health authorities, two people were killed and 71 injured in clashes Wednesday. The violence prompted the interim government to declare a state of emergency and impose a two-week curfew in the troubled city.

The Central Asian country has been plagued with unrest since Bakiyev's departure. The ongoing violence between Bakiyev's supporters and security forces loyal to the interim government and also between local Kyrgyz and Uzbek residents has claimed around 100 lives and left over 1,500 injured.

Source: Xinhua


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