48 people intend to run for Kyrgyzstan presidency

BISHKEK, August 10 (Itar-Tass) — The number of candidates to run for Kyrgyzstan presidency has reached 48, a source in the press service of Kyrgyzstan’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“Applications came from 48 persons by now. Nine people were nominated by political parties and the other 39 are independents,” the press service said.

The list of candidates includes incumbent and former members of national parliament, a diplomat, business people, unemployed, a housewife, director of a distillery, a farmer, civil servants, policemen, a retired colonel, building workers and reporters. “The nomination procedure will be over on August 16, and candidates’ registration will start,” sources in the CEC said. Presidential candidates must make a deposit of 100,000 soms (about 2,200 dollars) so that a fund should be set up not to exceed 50 million soms (1.1 million dollars). A candidate must collect 30,000 signatures of voters in support and to pass an examination in the Kyrgyz language.

Local political scientists, however, believe that as the election due on October 30 draws nearer, the number of presidential candidates may shrink because of financial and organizational problems experienced by many of them. Experts believe only a few people on the present list really stand chances to win. Besides, Almazbek Atambayev, the current prime minister, who, according to polls, is one of the favorites, has not yet announced the intention to run. He may do so in the next few days.

Kyrgyz president is elected for a six-year term. A candidate must be no younger than 35 years of age and no older than 70, must be a citizen of the republic and must have resided on the territory of the republic for the past 15 years. Roza Otunbayeva is now the country’s interim president. She was elected to the post in June 2010, ten weeks after president Kurmanbek Bakiyev was overthrown. In accordance with law, Otunbayeva has no right to run for the presidency again.

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