Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 163

Kyrgyzstan’s central election commission yesterday proclaimed incumbent President Askar Akayev the winner of the presidential elections held December 24. The commission said that the voter turnout was 86.1 percent and that Akayev won 75.1 percent of the votes cast. His two opponents, former Communist party leader Absamat Masaliyev and former Supreme Soviet chairman Medetkan Sherimkulov, were credited with 24 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Both charged massive fraud. Three other candidates had been disqualified from the race after the electoral commission and the Supreme Court invalidated some of the signatures these candidates had collected. They, too, had complained that the administration was heavily favoring the president in the election.

Akayev told a news conference also yesterday that he would use his mandate to "radically change" the government, dismiss opponents of reforms, accelerate the reforms in the political and economic fields, and expand presidential powers at the expense of parliament following the example of the Russian, Uzbek, and Kazakh presidents. A U.S. State Department statement welcomed Akayev’s reelection as "an important step forward in democratic development" for Kyrgyzstan. (18) One of the few post-Soviet presidents without a background in the Communist party, Akayev is a physicist by training, and was elected president by the republic’s Supreme Soviet in 1990 and by popular vote in 1991. Without injuring Russian strategic interests in the region, Akayev has sought to shift the country’s economic orientation toward Western and the more advanced Asian countries. He is a declared opponent of Islamic fundamentalism and has also managed to contain latent north-south tensions in his country. His opponents had promised to slow down reforms, and some of them relied mainly on regional (north or south) support.

1. Reuter, Interfax, December 27

2. Interfax, December 27

3. Interfax, December 26 and 27

4. Interfax, December 27

5. Izvestiya, December 28

6. Interfax, December 27

7. Izvestiya, December 27 and 28; Trud, December 27

8. Interfax, Itar-Tass, December 25 through 27

9. Segodnya, December 26; Russian TV, December 22

10. Russian TV, December 26

11. Interfax, December 27

12. Interfax-Ukraine, December 26 and 27

13. BNS, December 22

14. Reuter, Interfax, Itar-Tass, Nezavisimaya gazeta, December 25 and 26

15. Interfax, December 26 and 27

16. Noyan-Tapan, December 24 and 27; Azg, December 27

17. Interfax, December 23

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