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Bishkek Mayor Reelected Amid Protests

Bishkek Mayor Isa Omurkulov

Bishkek Mayor Isa Omurkulov

BISHKEK -- Dozens of activists are protesting the Bishkek city council's reelection of the mayor, which they say is unconstitutional, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Incumbent Mayor Isa Omurkulov was reelected on February 4 for a four-year term.

Gulnara Aitbaeva, deputy chairwoman of the For Democracy and Civil Society nongovernmental organization, told RFE/RL that Bishkek citizens should elect the mayor in a direct vote instead of the city council voting. She added that the president has no right "to order the date of the mayoral elections."

President Roza Otunbaeva announced on February 2 that the Bishkek mayoral election would be held on February 4 and determined by a vote in the city council.

Meanwhile, Otunbaeva stated officially today that the law, including the new constitution approved in a nationwide referendum in July, allows the president to decide the date for Bishkek mayoral elections.

Read more in Kyrgyz here