Parties gear up for Kyrgyz elections

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- There are 57 political parties registered with Kyrgyz authorities for parliamentary elections scheduled for October, the election office said in Bishkek.

Interim Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva signed a measure calling for parliamentary elections last week, giving political parties five days to register. Kyrgyz election officials said there were 100 parties eyeing seats in Parliament, though that number dwindled to 57 after Otunbayeva signed the new law, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.


Kyrgyzstan held a constitutional referendum in June that moved much of the power in Bishkek from the president to a prime minister.

Violence between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyzs erupted in early June in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh. A Red Cross official said the death toll from the violence may be several hundred, while U.N. estimates put the number of injured in the thousands. Tens of thousands were displaced.

Uzbekistan closed its border after thousands of Uzbeks fled the June violence. Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbayev was quoted as saying Uzbekistan was still troubled by the security in his country.

"We are holding talks on the opening of the border, however the Uzbek side is still refraining from opening its borders," he said.


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