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NGOs Recognize Municipal Elections In Osh

Osh Mayor Melis Myrzakmatov looks to have won enough support to ensure he remains in office.
OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyzstan's leading nongovernmental organizations have recognized the municipal elections in the country's second city of Osh.

Leaders of the NGOs said on March 5 that they were confident that reported electoral violations at some ballot stations during voting on March 4 did not affect the general outcome of the election.

Results show that the Uluttar Birimdigi (Unity of Nationalities) party led by Osh Mayor Melis Myrzakmatov won over 48 percent of the vote -- securing the party more than 20 of the 45 seats on the city council.

Analysts say this most likely means that Myrzakmatov will continue in office as he will also have the support of some smaller parties to gain a majority.

Home to a significant Uzbek minority, Osh was at the center of clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in June 2010, in which around 450 people were killed and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed.