Security is tight in Kyrgyzstan today as the country votes in an election that interim leaders hope will unite the country – but opponents fear could rekindle inter-ethnic violence.
The ballot should create the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia, just months after the president was overthrown.
The importance of the moment is not lost on interim head of state, Roza Otunbayeva.
She described the organising of free and fair elections in Kyrgyzstan as “more important in itself than the coming to power of any particular political party”.
The main concern is for the Osh region in the south where campaigning brought residual tensions to the fore.
Ethnic clashes broke out between Kyrgyz and Uzbecks in June, in which at least 400 people were killed.
It is thought violence could flare again once the election results are announced.