Kyrgyzstan looks set to produce a coalition government despite nationalists narrowly coming out ahead of four other parties in Sunday’s elections.
The tightly run vote was the first to be held under a new constitution which will create Central Asia’s first parliamentary democracy. It was also the first poll after inter racial violence earlier this year that left 400 people dead.
The biggest turn out was in the southern city of Osh, the epicentre of June’s clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks.
Interim president Roza Otunbayeva who took charge of the country after Kyrgyzstan’s former leader was ousted is pushing reforms to end the bitter social divisions.
But many Uzbecks who still feel victimised by the country’s security forces say they fear fresh unrest particularly if the Nationalists eventually hold sway in parliament when a new prime minister is chosen.