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Kyrgyz Party Members Protest Election Results

Voters cast ballots outside the capital, Bishkek, during parliamentary elections on October 10.
BISHKEK -- The United Kyrgyzstan party says it will hold nationwide protests to challenge the official results of last weekend's elections after it failed to clear the threshold to get into parliament, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Nurlan Shakiev, a member of United Kyrgyzstan's political council, told RFE/RL that party supporters have told party leaders that they plan protests across the country to "protect their voting rights."

They did not specify a date for the protests.

Central Election Commission Chairman Akylbek Sariev announced today that United Kyrgyzstan received 4.84 percent of the vote, just short of the 5 percent threshold.

Shakiev claimed the commission first informed party leader Adakhan Madumarov that 142,000 votes represent 5 percent of the vote and United Kyrgyzstan officially received 145,455 votes.

But earlier in the day, Sariev met with Madumarov and told him that 5 percent is actually 149,000 votes. United Kyrgyzstan members and supporters denounced the discrepancy as a "political game."

Party supporters in southern Kyrgyzstan say they plan to block the Bishkek-Osh highway to protest the election results.

Some 500 supporters of United Kyrgyzstan gathered in front of the CEC building in Bishkek where Sariev's office is located. More than 1,000 others have gathered in the central square in the southern city of Osh to protest the results.

The parliamentary elections were praised by international observers and foreign governments for being free and fair.