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Dozens Of Kyrgyz Presidential Candidates Seeking Registration

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev is considered to be a front-runner for the upcoming presidential poll.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz presidential candidates must pay a 100,000 som ($2,200) registration fee before taking a mandatory Kyrgyz-language test that all candidates must pass, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

A total of 78 people have officially expressed their intention to take part in Kyrgyzstan's October 30 ballot.

Kyrgyz Central Election Commission (BSK) member Kanat Abdukadyrov told RFE/RL on September 1 that the date and regulations for the language test will be announced soon. He said candidates must pay in advance to take the test, which will be televised.

In addition, would-be candidates must submit to the BSK by September 10 documentary proof that they have at least 30,000 supporters.

The BSK's registration of candidates will begin after that, Abdukadyrov said, and all official candidates will be announced by September 25.

Incumbent President Roza Otunbaeva has kept her pledge not to run for another term in office.

Otunbaeva was named to head Kyrgyzstan's interim government after former President Kurmanbek Bakiev was ousted by popular antigovernment protests in April 2010.

She was later approved in a nationwide referendum as president for the period until the presidential election was held.

Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev is currently considered one of the favorites to be elected president.

Read more in Kyrgyz here