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Little-Known Farmers' Party Joins Kyrgyz Political Fray

BISHKEK -- The leader of Kyrgyzstan's Farmers' Party, Kuttubek Asylbekov, has announced his plan to run in the country's presidential election in late July, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

Asylbekov, a 52-year-old veterinarian from the northern Talas region, told RFE/RL that that he had sent his application to the Central Election Commission.

He said his relatively obscure party has outlined a program to deal with the economic crisis in the country.

A portion of the Kyrgyz opposition has already announced its support for Almazbek Atambaev, a former prime minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party.

The United Popular Movement (BEK), an umbrella group allying the often-fractious opposition on April 25 was said to have endorsed the candidacies of Atambaev and of former Defense Minister Ismail Isakov.

However, a member of the Central Election Commission, Abdyjapar Begmatov, warned in an interview with RFE/RL that the commission would not recognize the candidacies of nominees from unregistered political groups like the BEK.