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Three Kyrgyz Opposition Parties Unite, Will Field Single Presidential Candidate

BISHKEK -- Three opposition parties in Kyrgyzstan have announced plans to merge and field a single candidate in the country's October presidential election.

Lawmakers representing the Onuguu-Progress party said on August 7 that its leader, Bakyt Torobaev, Mekenim-Kyrgyzstan (My Land - Kyrgyzstan) party chief Adakhan Madumarov, and Ata-Jurt (Homeland) party co-Chairmen Akmatbek Keldibekov and Kamchybek Tashiev had decided to create a new political party.

The lawmakers said that under an agreement reached by the leaders on August 6, the new party -- which does not yet have a name -- will propose a single candidate for the presidential election scheduled for October 15.

Torobaev, Madumarov, Keldibekov, and Tashiev, who are among the 59 people who have filed documents required to become candidates, are going through other steps before getting on the ballot. The final list of officially registered presidential candidates will be made public on September 10.

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