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In Kyrgyzstan, Protests As Osh Gets New Mayor

Protests broke out January 15 in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh after long-time mayor Melis Myrzakmatov was defeated in indirect elections. City lawmakers voted 25-19 to elect Aitmamat Kadyrbaev, the former deputy governor of the Osh region and an ally of Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Ernist Nurmatov)

As many as 10,000 demonstrators gathered outside City Hall, throwing rocks and attempting to storm the building to protest the results. 
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As many as 10,000 demonstrators gathered outside City Hall, throwing rocks and attempting to storm the building to protest the results. 

Voting under way in City Hall. Before the election, the majority coalition backing Kadyrbaev held a whisker-thin advantage of 23 to 22 seats. 
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Voting under way in City Hall. Before the election, the majority coalition backing Kadyrbaev held a whisker-thin advantage of 23 to 22 seats. 

The vote count revealed that an additional two lawmakers had thrown their vote behind Kadyrbaev, leaving Myrzakmatov with 19 votes. (One ballot was declared "ruined.")
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The vote count revealed that an additional two lawmakers had thrown their vote behind Kadyrbaev, leaving Myrzakmatov with 19 votes. (One ballot was declared "ruined.")

Heavily armed police wait inside City Hall. 
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Heavily armed police wait inside City Hall. 

Riot police form a blockade outside City Hall in attempt to discourage protesters from entering.
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Riot police form a blockade outside City Hall in attempt to discourage protesters from entering.

A numbers of protesters stood and chanted. Some threw stones, and at least one burned a portrait of Kyrgyzstan's president, Almazbek Atambaev. 
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A numbers of protesters stood and chanted. Some threw stones, and at least one burned a portrait of Kyrgyzstan's president, Almazbek Atambaev. 

Several dozen protesters arrived on horseback to voice support for Myrzakmatov. 
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Several dozen protesters arrived on horseback to voice support for Myrzakmatov. 

Myrzakmatov, who was fired by Satybaldiev in early December, said the mayoral contest was rigged and has vowed to contest the results. 
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Myrzakmatov, who was fired by Satybaldiev in early December, said the mayoral contest was rigged and has vowed to contest the results. 

Myrzakmatov, who presided over the city during deadly clashes in 2010, called on supporters to resume the fight in 15 days, with the start of warmer weather. 
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Myrzakmatov, who presided over the city during deadly clashes in 2010, called on supporters to resume the fight in 15 days, with the start of warmer weather. 

The winner, Kadyrbaev, has vowed to restore order and begin the business of running Kyrgyzstan's second-largest city. 
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The winner, Kadyrbaev, has vowed to restore order and begin the business of running Kyrgyzstan's second-largest city. 

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