Number of presidential candidates in Kyrgyzstan grows to 66

BISHKEK, August 15 (Itar-Tass) — The number of presidential candidates in Kyrgyzstan has grown to 66, sources from the press service of the Kyrgyz Central Election Commission told Tass on Monday.

“Approximately every sixth candidate was nominated by a political party, all others are self-nominated candidates,” the sources said. The list of contenders includes incumbent and former parliamentarians, representatives of different professions earlier not engaged in politics, as well as unemployed people.

The nomination of candidates ends on August 16, after which the registration will begin, the sources said. For this, presidential candidates must put up an election deposit of 100,000 Soms (about 2,200 U.S. dollars), form a fund the amount of which must not exceed an equivalent of 1.1 million dollars, collect 30,000 signatures in their support and pass an exam confirming their command of the state Kyrgyz language.

Meanwhile, according to local political analysts, closer to the election scheduled for October 30, the number of contenders will sizably reduce because of financial and organizational problems they will face.

“Besides, a considerable part of candidates will most likely offer their electorate to favourites in exchange for some political privileges,” specialists say. Experts also believe that only several people can expect to win election, including the incumbent prime minister, Almazbek Atambayev, nominated by the Socialist Democratic Party two days ago.

The president of Kyrgyzstan is elected for the term of six years. The candidate must not be younger than 35 and older than 70. At the present time, Roza Otunbayeva is interim president of the country. She was elected in June 2010 after president Kurmanbek Bakiyev had been ousted 2.5 months before that.

Under the law, she does not have the right to run once again. In 20 years of Kyrgyzstan’s independence presidents have never stepped down voluntarily. Askar Akayev and Kurmanbek Bakiyev were stripped of presidency as a result of mass disorder, and both had to flee the republic for considerations of safety.

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