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Candidate Duelling Fails to Take Off

IWPR editor Aida Kasymalieva reviews the election news of the last week, and describes how a scheduled series of radio and TV debates have failed to materialise.
One encounter – between Jenishbek Nazaraliev and Toktaim Umetalieva – did take place on Kyrgyz radio, but producers halved the scheduled 60 minutes assigned to the programme as they felt the content was too anodyne.

Other radio debates have had to be cancelled – in one case because the main opposition candidate, Almazbek Atambaev, refused to appear in the same show as Temir Sariev, who broke ranks with his allies to stand for election himself; and in another because Nurlan Motuev said he had no real differences with incumbent president Kurmanbek Bakiev.

The planned televised debates have not taken place, either.

For more news on the election (in Russian) see

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