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Last Updated: Monday, 28 February, 2005, 10:22 GMT
Kyrgyzstan set for run-off polls
By Ian MacWilliam
BBC News, Bishkek

Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev gestures answering a question as he stands in front of national flag at a polling station in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek Sunday, Feb. 27, 2005.
The extent of support for President Akayev remains unclear
Early results from Sunday's elections in Kyrgyzstan show nearly two-thirds of the new parliament's seats will have to be decided in run-off elections.

In most constituencies no candidate received the absolute majority of votes required to win outright.

This means the parliament's shape, and the extent of its support for long-serving Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, remains unclear.

The final tally of deputies will be decided in polls in mid-March.

Preliminary results show the contest has been decided in nearly 30 seats of the 75-seat parliament.

But with well over 300 candidates running, in most constituencies no single candidate has won the required 50% of the vote.

Among the victors, several belong to the main pro-presidential party, but most are officially independents.

President Akayev's son, Aydar, won the seat he was contesting; the president's daughter, Bermet, who was also a candidate, will go through to the second round.

A number of the most prominent opposition leaders had been prevented from running for various legal reasons.

Sunday's voting went peacefully, but opposition groups say there were irregularities in some voters' lists.

Anti-government protests in three rural regions last week led to some concerns of potential unrest if the elections were seen to be unfair, but that has not materialised.

The vote was postponed in one of the regions; in another the majority took the available option of voting against all candidates.

Opposition groups say that President Akayev wants a compliant parliament, so he can run for a third term in presidential elections later this year.

He has said he has no such intention.

Protests before Kyrgyzstan vote
23 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Kyrgyzstan feels wind of change
03 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Military rivalry in Kyrgyzstan
25 Oct 03 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Country profile: Kyrgyzstan
23 Feb 05 |  Country profiles

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