The party of the president in Kyrgyzstan appears to have won the general election, but opposition groups are claiming the vote was rigged. Ballots are still being counted. Initial results show that the president’s Ak Zohl party has taken just under half of the votes, but allegations of forced voting and ballot stuffing in at least two regions are rife.
The political situation in the country has been volatile for some time now. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev swept to power in 2005 in an election which was praised for its fairness by election monitors. However his rule degenerated into street protests over his alleged abuses of power, and political battles with the opposition prime minister.
The election was called early, but the opposition claims a recent change in the constitution, obliging rival parties to have to win five per cent of the national vote to secure parliamentary seats, has placed them at a disadvantage.
If the initial results are confirmed only one of the opposition parties, Ata Meken, has passed the threshold.