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Dozens Register To Run For Kyrgyz President

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev is constitutionally barred from running for a second term.

BISHKEK -- A total of 59 people have filed papers with Kyrgyzstan’s Election Commission to become candidates for president.

Eleven of the would-be candidates were nominated by political parties and 48 are independents, the commission reported at the July 31 deadline.

Each perspective candidate must now collect at least 30,000 signatures in support of his/her candidacy, pay a deposit of 1 million soms ($14,600), and pass a Kyrgyz-language test.

A candidate selected by the opposition Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party, leader Omurbek Tekebaev, is on trial on charges of bribe-taking. His papers were not accepted by the Election Commission.

Several of Tekebaev's supporters launched a hunger strike on July 31, demanding his registration be accepted.

Tekebaev and his party supporters say the charges against him are politically motivated to keep Tekebaev off the ballot.

A final list of officially registered presidential candidates will be made public on September 10. The election is scheduled for October 15.

President Almazbek Atambaev, who has been in office since December 2011, is constitutionally barred from running for a second term.