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New Political Bloc Formed In Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, 22 September 2004 -- A number of political parties and movements have joined forces in Kyrgyzstan, creating a new political bloc called the People's Movement of Kyrgyzstan.

The new movement said it would work to guarantee next year's parliamentary and presidential elections were free and fair.

The group also expressed concerns about the Constitutional Court's refusal to rule on whether incumbent President Askar Akaev is obligated to leave office next October when his term expires. Opposition groups fear Akaev could run again despite his being in his third presidential term now.

The new bloc includes both Communist parties, the New Kyrgyzstan party, the Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan, Erkindik, Erk, Asaba, Kairan El, and Respublika.

Former Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev was elected the new bloc's leader.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)