Presidential runoff inevitable in Kyrgyzstan

CHOLPON-ATA, Kyrgyzstan, August 8 (Itar-Tass) —— Kyrgyzstan’s caretaker President Roza Otunbayeva said a runoff would be inevitable in the upcoming presidential election slated for October 30.

“The election is going to be, shall I say, quite competitive,” she said on Monday, August 8. “Many candidates have already been nominated and then there will certainly be a second round.”

She declined to make a forecast regarding the outcome of the election.

“It’s hard to speak about this now. Not everybody is out yet. There will be more candidates. And we hope that these will be strong candidates,” Otunbayeva said.

At the same time, she stressed, “Any candidate and any future president [of Kyrgyzstan] will develop active relations with Russia.”

She believes so because the Kyrgyz people favour strong ties with Russia. “We have no choice, but not because we are doomed or dependent. Conduct a sociological poll and you will see that people will always stand for long-term and strong ties with Russia,” Otunbayeva said.

There are currently 35 candidates for the post of president in Kyrgyzstan.

The list of candidates includes the current and former members of the national parliament, a diplomat, businessmen, unemployed persons, a housewife, a farmer, a retired police general, a retired colonel, and journalists. “The nomination will end on August 16, and then the registration of candidates will begin,” the Central Election Commission said.

Candidates are required to make a deposit of 100,000 soms (about 2,200 U.S. dollars), create a fund of no more than 50 million soms (1.1 million U.S. dollars), collect 30,000 signatures in their support and pass an exam in the Kyrgyz language.

Local political analysts believe that only some of the 35 candidates can succeed in the race. These include Adakhan Madumarov, leader of the Butun Kyrgyzstan (United Kyrgyzstan) party; Kamchibek Tashiyev, leader of the party Ata-Zhurt (Fatherland); Omurbek Suvanaliyev, former Interior Minister and ex-governor of the Naryn region; and two or three other candidates.

Experts also say that the number of candidates will decrease considerably nearer the presidential election because of financial and organisational problems. According to observers, “political heavyweights” have not yet declared their intention to run for presidency. They are expected to do so shortly.

The president of Kyrgyzstan is elected for a term of 6 years. The candidate must be at least 35 years old but not older than 70, a citizen of the republic and reside in the country for the past 15 years. The current caretaker president was elected in June 2010 after the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev 2.5 months prior. By law, Otunbayeva has no right to run for the presidency again.

Leave a comment