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Kyrgyz Lawmakers Elect Parliamentary Speaker

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz lawmakers have elected Chynybai Tursunbekov of the Social Democratic Party as the parliament's new speaker in the second round of a secret vote.

A total of 88 lawmakers voted for Tursunbekov, while his rival, Iskhak Masaliev of the Onuguu-Progress Party, received support from 26 lawmakers in the April 27 vote.

On April 20, Kyrgyz lawmakers failed to elect a new speaker of parliament when two candidates -- Kanat Isaev of the Kyrgyzstan Party and Bakyt Torobaev of the Onuguu-Progress Party -- each received 51 votes.

At least 61 votes are needed to be elected speaker in the 120-seat parliament.

The previous speaker, Asylbek Jeenbekov, resigned earlier in April after his brother, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, was nominated to become Kyrgyzstan's prime minister.

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