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Defeated Kyrgyz Presidential Candidate Announces End To Protests

Ata-Jurt party leader Kamchybek Tashiev
Ata-Jurt party leader Kamchybek Tashiev
BISHKEK -- Defeated Kyrgyz presidential candidate Kamchybek Tashiev has announced his decision to halt protests by his supporters against the election results, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Tashiev, leader of the Ata-Jurt party, placed third in the October 30 presidential election with 14.33 percent of the vote after former Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev (63 percent) and opposition United Kyrgyzstan party leader Adakhan Madumarov (14.75 percent).

Dozens of supporters of Tashiev and Madumarov have been staging protests in Bishkek and the southern cities of Jalal-Abad and Osh to demand the annulment of the election results and a repeat ballot.

In his statement on November 4, Tashiev called on his supporters to end the protests.

"Although our nation was ready to hold the first-ever clean and fair elections, there were numerous cases of violations of voters' rights," he wrote.

"Thousands of voters were not able to cast their votes. However, as a citizen of my country, I want to stop any kind of protest because for me, the stability and peace, as well as the unity of our nation is much more important than the presidential chair."

Tashiev also said the checking of all ballots should continue and all officials found responsible for any violations during the voting should be held accountable. He denied that his decision to end the protests was the result of any kind of deal with anyone.

President-elect Atambaev told journalists on November 1 that it was possible that Tashiev and Madumarov could join the next government and that he was in contact with them.

Read more in Kyrgyz here