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Kyrgyz Ruling Party Set to Sweep Parliamentary Elections


The party of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev is poised to win all of the seats in parliament after a vote being criticized by opposition parties and international observers.

With more than 80 percent of the ballots counted, election officials Monday said Mr. Bakiyev's Al-Zhol party has won 48 percent of the vote. Preliminary results show the opposition Ata Meken party in a distant second place and unable to meet the national guidelines to guarantee its presence in the 90-seat legislature.

Opposition groups say Sunday's election was marked with fraud.

Election observers from the OSCE say the election failed to meet international standards. The organization says vote counting was not transparent and accountable due to delays, the presence of unauthorized persons, and a deliberate abuse of procedures.

In October, a popular referendum approved sweeping changes to Kyrgyzstan's constitution, including a change in the election system that puts party lists before voters, rather than individual candidates. U.S. and European monitors said the referendum was marred by violations such as ballot stuffing.

Kyrgyzstan has experienced political turmoil since 2005, when a popular revolt toppled President Askar Akayev and brought Mr. Bakiyev to power.

The former Soviet republic of five million people is home to both U.S. and Russian military bases.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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