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Election Campaign Kicks Off In Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan has officially kicked off the parliamentary election campaign with 14 political parties to contest 120 seats in the Jogorku Kenesh.

The Central Election Commission said under Kyrgyz law campaigning can officially begin exactly one month before the October 4 vote.

The commission said 34 political parties in total have applied to run but that two dozen parties didn't meet the requirements, which include the payment of about $77,000 for an election registration fee.

While there are no clear favorites in the run-up to the elections, some local analysts expect President Almazbek Atambaev's Social Democratic Party to win the most seats, while the Bir Bol and Ata-Meken parties are also expected to do well.

Election officials said more than 2.4 million people out of the country's roughly 5.7 million population are eligible to vote in the poll.

They will cast ballots in nearly 2,400 polling stations across the county, while 36 stations are set up in 26 countries for Kyrgyz nationals living abroad.

Election officials say 204 television and radio stations, publications, and other media outlet have obtained official accreditation to cover the elections.

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