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Kyrgyz Politicians Haggle Over Presidential Election Date

Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva

Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva

BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz presidential envoy to parliament said today the country's presidential election may be held in September, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Envoy Azimbek Beknazarov told RFE/RL that the draft law on setting the date for the election was added to the parliament's agenda for June 30, the last session before deputies take summer vacation.

The parliament's Constitutional Law and State Structure Committee initially proposed November 20 as the date for the election. But many parliament deputies -- led by opposition Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party leader Omurbek Tekebaev -- objected to that date because the constitution states the election must be held at least two months before the president's term expires.

The official term of President Roza Otunbaeva -- which was overwhelmingly approved in a nationwide referendum one year ago -- is due to expire on December 31.

The deputies are therefore insisting the election be held by October 31 to comply with the constitution.

Beknazarov said that if the different parliament factions do not unite on this issue, an announcement on the date of the election could be delayed beyond June 30.

Otunbaeva, who took power in April 2010 after former President Kurmanbek Bakiev was ousted amid antigovernment protests, pledged earlier that she would not seek another term in office.