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The arrest of Kanatbek Isayev might serve as a way to discredit one of the election frontrunners.2 October 2017
Less than two weeks before Kyrgyzstan’s presidential elections, the arrest of a prominent lawmaker might turn the tables against one of the main contenders, Omurbek Babanov, EurasiaNet.org reports.
Isayev had been planning to run for president himself, on behalf of the Kyrgyzstan Party, which nominated him in June, RFE/RL reports. However, he was not able to do so, after election officials rejected 10,000 of the 37,000 signatures he collected in support of his candidacy, which placed him under the required threshold of 35,000 signatures, thus rendering him ineligible to take part in the vote.
Among the candidates, Bananov and former Prime Minister and Social Democratic Party representative Sooronbai Jeenbekov are the ones with the greatest chance of winning the elections, EurasiaNet reports. Their election platforms are very similar, which could mean that the political battle might involve more unconventional tactics.
“What we have here is more a competition in kompromat [dissemination of compromising material] than electoral programs. The candidates’ manifestos are weak – they have either been copied from elsewhere, or they don’t have one at all. And nobody reads these things anyway. That’s how we do things,” political analyst Marat Kazakpayev told EurasiaNet.
This Saturday, a thousand people rallied in Bishkek asking for free and fair elections, amid allegations of pressure on voters, RFE/RL also reported.
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