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Voting Ends In Local Elections In Kyrgyzstan

President Kurmanbek Bakiev

President Kurmanbek Bakiev

BISHKEK (RFE/RL) --- Voting has ended in Kyrgyzstan in the first local elections held since the uprising that led to the ouster of President Askar Akaev in 2005.

More than 15,000 candidates were registered nationwide, running for some 7,600 local seats. More than 2 million eligible voters were registered.

President Kurmanbek Bakiev, casting his vote in the capital, Bishkek, affirmed his faith in the country's democratic process, saying, "During these elections to the local councils, to the village councils, to city and district councils, as I suppose and as I believe, voters will use their rights and vote without any pressure upon them, in accordance with their will, and in an open and transparent way."

He rejected opposition allegations that the current parliament, elected in December 2007, is illegal due to massive vote fraud. He said Kyrgyzstan has experience in carrying out fair and just elections.

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service says there were scattered reports of irregularities during the voting and in the election campaign.

On October 3, a dozen activists of the opposition Green Party were prevented from holding an election rally in Bishkek. Some were briefly detained by police and fined.
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