Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Election Abuse Claims Mar Kyrgyz Vote

Immediately the July 23 presidential election was over, the main opposition challenger Almazbek Atambaev and fellow-candidate Jenishbek Nazaraliev contested the result.
IWPR editors Kaarmanbek Kuluev and Aida Kasymalieva review reports of procedural irregularities, including an apparent mismatch between official turnout figure and activity levels at polling stations, and suggestions that people were shepherded to vote en masse.

The OSCE said the conduct of the ballot fell short of its standards, while observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States – other former Soviet republics – said the election was “transparent and free”.

The incumbent Kurmanbek Bakiev, declared the winner by a massive margin, accepted that the elections had not gone “without a hitch”.

“We’re all human,” he added. “There may have been some shortcomings, but they weren’t so major as to influence the election process as a whole.”

Anecdotal evidence pointing to various procedural violations was gathered by IWPR radio contributors Alina Kenjeeva, Ulukbu Amirova, Jazgul Jamangulova, Rita Borbukeeva and Timur Toktonaliev.

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