BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary election campaign has officially begun, with 15 political parties contesting 120 seats in the Jogorku Kenesh (Supreme Council).
Central Election Commission (BShK) Chairwoman Nurjan Shaildabekova called on the parties officially registered for the October 4 vote to stick to the principles of fairness and openness during the process.
Shaildabekova's statement came after she signed a memorandum of understanding with representatives of 13 registered parties as the campaign kicked off. Representatives of the opposition Ata-Meken (Fatherland) and Reforma (Reform) parties did now show up for the signing ceremony on September 4.
"We can achieve success only by striving to have clean and open elections. Therefore, in order to make sure that all political parties are ready to hold proper and fair elections, we proposed they sign this memorandum. I hope that all of the obligations the parties agreed upon will be met. The memorandum is a document of honor, a kind of a code," Shaildabekova said.
A day earlier, the last day of the registration, the BShK said two parties, Aktiv (Active) and Butun Kyrgyzstan (United Kyrgyzstan), had been rejected as they didn't meet the requirements laid out for participation.
Butun Kyrgyzstan called the commission's decision political and said it will appeal in court.
Ata-Meken and pro-government parties, including Birimdik (Unity) and Mekenim Kyrgyzstan (My Homeland Kyrgyzstan), are widely expected to gain seats in the legislature.
No party is allowed to hold more than 65 seats in the Supreme Council.