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Kyrgyz Presidential Bidders Line Up

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Aug. 15 (UPI) — The Kyrgyz prime minister entered the race to become the country’s next president in elections scheduled for October, his party said Monday.

An April 2010 coup in Kyrgyzstan forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee his stronghold in the south of the country to Belarus. Since the 2010 coup, the country had parliamentary elections and formed a unity government under Roza Otunbayeva.

Otunbayeva is ineligible to seek the presidency after her interim tenure expires Dec. 31. Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev was introduced by the country’s Social Democratic Party as its candidate for president, Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

The report adds there are 70 people, ranging from the country’s envoy to Kazakhstan, journalists and farmers, who’ve added their names to the list of presidential candidates.

To run, candidates need to collect more than 30,000 signatures in support of their bid for president by Aug. 25 and raise about $2,500.

After the coup, at least 400 people were killed during June 2010 violence between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in the southern regions of Osh and Jalal Abad. Human rights groups note Kyrgyzstan has a long way to go before ethnic rifts are mended.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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