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Kyrgyz Parties Agree to Vote Recount

Voting in Arashan, Kyrgyzstan, 10 Oct 2010

Voting in Arashan, Kyrgyzstan, 10 Oct 2010

The five Kyrgyz political parties that won seats in Sunday's parliamentary elections have agreed to a vote recount that could add a sixth party to a new coalition government.

Akylbek Zhaparov, head of the Ar-Namys party, said Wednesday that leaders of the five parties approved of the plan.

The nationalist Butun Kyrgyzstan party fell just short of the 5 percent needed to win seats in parliament, earning 4.8 percent of the total vote.

At least 200 of the party's supporters rallied Tuesday to protest the election and demand a recount. The leader of Butun Kyrgyzstan, Adakhan Madumarov, said election officials increased the number of voters in the country so his party could not reach the 5 percent threshold.

The party has not commented on the recount announcement.

Kyrgyzstan's central election commission said Wednesday it would agree to a recount if discrepancies were found in the final results which are expected in the next few days.

Parties that reached the vote threshold are the nationalist Ata-Zhurt, the pro-Russia party Ar-Namys, the pro-government Social Democratic and Ata-Meken parties and the Respublika party, which has not sided with either the government or the opposition.

The new coalition will replace the interim government that has run Kyrgyzstan since a deadly uprising toppled then-President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April.

The country is also dealing with the aftermath of June riots between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks that killed hundreds of people and displaced 400,000 others in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Both Russia and the United States have military bases in Kyrgyzstan.

U.S. government officials met Wednesday with all the parties involved in forming the new government in order to reach an agreement allowing the Manas air base to remain in the country. The base is key to supplying NATO troops serving in Afghanistan.

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