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Atambaev Says Kyrgyzstan To Hold Presidential Vote On October 15


Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev (file photo)

BISHKEK -- President Almazbek Atambaev has announced that Kyrgyzstan will hold a presidential election on October 15.

Atambaev made the announcement in Bishkek on May 29, at a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Kyrgyz Army.

The election was due to be held in the fall, but no date had been set.

Atambaev, who was elected in 2011, is barred by the Central Asian country's constitution from running for a second consecutive presidential term.

He initiated a referendum in December that strengthened the authority of the prime minister at the expense of the president.

Opposition politicians say they suspect the referendum was an attempt by Atambaev to increase his chances of maintaining a hold on to power after leaving the presidency.

Atambaev has said that he does not intend to become prime minister, but that he will remain in politics.

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