Opposition Pulls Out of Electoral Bodies

Members of opposition parties are stepping down in large numbers from local electoral commissions, claiming they are being pressured to leave by local government officials.

Opposition Pulls Out of Electoral Bodies

Members of opposition parties are stepping down in large numbers from local electoral commissions, claiming they are being pressured to leave by local government officials.

Wednesday, 8 July, 2009

When reporter Rita Borbukeeva visited a number of electoral bodies in the northern Issykkul region, she found that none of them had opposition representatives working with them.



Ahead of the July 23 presidential election, representatives of the United People’s Movement, the main opposition umbrella group, say at least 460 have resigned across Issykkul region, and claim local government officials have been going round to people’s houses and intimidating them into submitting their resignations.



Aygul Sadybakova, who heads a district-level electoral commission, refused to give IWPR information about the number of opposition members who had stepped down, despite receiving a formal request in advance.



“According to the [electoral] code, we are supposed to speak openly,” she admitted. “But the opposition is listening to every word we say, and there will inevitably be problems.



Asked about the allegations of intimidation, Samibek Kadyraliev, Issykkul regional coordinator for the governing Ak Jol party, said, “I don’t believe that, I think they’ve resigned because they know their candidates are hopeless.”






 

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