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Kyrgyzstan Schedules Early Presidential Election For January 10

Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov will serve as acting president until the election.
Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov will serve as acting president until the election.

BISHKEK -- The press service for Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission (BShK) says an early presidential election has been scheduled to take place on January 10.

In a statement on October 24, the BShK said the decision was reached at an election commission session in Bishkek.

The announcement comes after weeks of political upheaval that toppled the Central Asian state's government and prompted the resignation of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

The chaos erupted after allegations of vote-buying and other improprieties marred the country's October 4 parliamentary elections.

Mass protests over the vote tally, which gave victory mainly to parties aligned with Jeenbekov's government, prompted the BShK to annul the results of the parliamentary vote.

Sadyr Japarov, a former nationalist lawmaker who was jailed on charges of kidnapping a political rival, was freed from prison in the midst of the demonstrations and approved on October 14 by parliament as prime minister.

Japarov also took over the powers of the presidency when Jeenbekov vacated the post. He is set to serve as acting president until the January election.

Japarov has said he will run for the presidency if constitutional amendments are approved to allow it.

Kyrgyzstan's constitution forbids a person serving as an acting or interim president from taking part in a presidential election.

Some legal experts say changing the constitution could require a national referendum.

But since Japarov took office, parliament has been working on possible changes to the law on presidential and parliamentary elections.

In an interview aired on October 19, Japarov told the Rossia-24 television channel: "If such amendments allow me to take part in the election, I will go for it. But it is early to talk about it now. The decision on that is pending."

With reporting by Interfax

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