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Kyrgyz Demonstrators Block Strategic Highway --> Protesters in Bishkek before the elections (file photo) Bishkek, 6 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- About 1,000 people in Kyrgyzstan's eastern Naryn Province today blocked a key road connecting the province to the capital, Bishkek.

The demonstrators were protesting against the local election commission's decision to bar an opposition candidate from running in the second round of balloting.

They demanded that candidate Ishenbai Kadyrbekov be allowed to run in the 13 March second round of parliamentary elections.

The local election commission yesterday barred Kadyrbekov from running, saying his campaign team broke election rules. Naryn Province Governor Shamshybek Medetbekov addressed the protesters.

"I am the governor of Naryn Province," he said. "I will go now to the town of Naryn [the provincial capital]. I have to meet with the judiciary and local electoral commission in order to clarify for myself what is going on. When I study the situation I will come back to you and will answer our questions."

Kadyrbekov is appealing the commission decision. A court is due to consider the appeal tomorrow.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)