Kyrgyzstan presidential election begins
Laaska News Oct. 30,2011
Kyrgyzstan is holding its first presidential election since the former president was ousted in an anti-government uprising in April last year.
The latest polls say that the current Prime Minister, Almazbek Atambayev, is ahead of the 15 other candidates. But it is not known if he can secure the 50 percent of votes he needs to win outright in the first round.
The election came after former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in a popular uprising that killed 86 in the capital Bishkek. More than 300 people died in the ethnic violence that followed.
The election could result in the first democratic change of leadership in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan’s interim leader, Roza Otunbayeva, cast her vote at a polling station. She will complete her term at the end of this year.
She said the Kyrgyz people deeply felt the importance of national unity during last year’s crisis. She called on voters to make the right choice.
Ballot counting will begin soon after polling stations close on Sunday. The outcome is expected to become clear on Monday.