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Monday, July 11, 2005


The Globe and Mail:

For the first time in modern history, a Central Asian country has chosen new leadership with ballot boxes instead of civil war or Soviet intrigue. The circumstances were less than ideal for voters in Kyrgyzstan who cast ballots in their presidential election yesterday. They faced oppressive heat, a flawed voters list and rumours about impending violence. Voters also didn't have much hope of influencing the outcome. Six candidates ran for the leadership of this tiny country at the mountainous heart of Asia, but the result was predetermined by a deal in which a popular candidate, Felix Kulov, dropped out of the race to support the front-runner, Kurmanbek Bakiyev. After all the ballots had been counted, Mr. Bakiyev had secured 88.9 per cent of the popular vote, the election commission said yesterday. It also confirmed that the requirement for at least 50-per-cent voter turnout was satisfied. Despite the flaws, politicians and observers in Kyrgyzstan say it's a historic moment. No violence was reported, and no reports of widespread fraud had surfaced.
It is a process, not an event, and obviously this was not a perfect election. None of that matters though. This event is hugely important, and the effects of this election will likely resonate throughout the region.


Blogger Greg said...

Still the optimistic Dave-and why not!? Free elections anywhere where it's done for the first time marks a new era of freedom and democracy. Hopefully our hopes and prayers will be answered.

7/12/2005 05:41:00 AM  

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