News / Asia

Election Officials Confirm Atambayev Wins Kyrgyzstan Presidency

Former PM and Russia's favored candidate, Almazbek Atambayev (C), who was declared winner of  Kyrgyzstan's presidential elections, talks to journalists in the capital Bishkek, October 31, 2011.
Former PM and Russia's favored candidate, Almazbek Atambayev (C), who was declared winner of Kyrgyzstan's presidential elections, talks to journalists in the capital Bishkek, October 31, 2011.

Election officials in Kyrgyzstan have confirmed former Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev as the winner of last month's presidential election.

With nearly 63 percent of the vote, Atambayev won an outright majority, far ahead of his two nationalist rivals, former parliament speaker Adakhan Madumarov and former boxer Kamchibek Tashiyev, who each polled less than 15 percent.

Though Tashiyev and Madumarov have denounced the election as fraudulent and warned of mass protests, there has been no sign of public unrest, and reports from Bishkek indicate Kyrgyzstan is on course for the first peaceful handover of presidential power in its post-Soviet history.

One year ago, national protests against corruption and poverty led to the ouster of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.  Since then, the country has been run by Roza Otunbayeva, Central Asia's first woman president.  She plans to step down on December 31, becoming the first Central Asian leader to step down voluntarily since the five former Soviet republics in the region became independent 20 years ago.

Atambayev says he will seek a path of consensus in the country.  He stepped down as prime minister in September to run for the presidency.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) noted voting irregularities during the October 31 elections, including people voting more than once, ballot-box stuffing and authorities refusing to let voters register.  OSCE officials said while such instances were disappointing, the irregularities did not seem to be enough to change the outcome.

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

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