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Battling for Votes in Kyrgyzstan (gallery)

With much to play for, parties have been going the extra mile to secure votes. On Sunday October 4, voters go to the polls in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia’s only democracy.

This is the second  legislative election  since the revised constitution of 2010 gave the Jogorku Kenesh (National Assembly) greater powers. Fourteen parties are standing, each presenting lists of candidates who will be awarded seats under a proportional representation system.

Of the 14 parties fielding candidates, the main contest is among those represented in the current legislature – the Social Democrats, Ata Meken, Ar Namys, Ata Jurt and Respublika (the latter two have now merged). In the current chamber, no party has a clear majority, and the Social Democrats have been governing in coalition with Ar Namys and Ata Meken.

Ahead of the upcoming party, new alliances have grown up, in some cases between formerly bitter rivals, and individual politicians have defected to other parties. (See our story Kyrgyz Parties in Flux Ahead of Election.)

With no dominant force, there is a lot to play for, and the parties have been campaigning vigorously to drum up support from an often disillusioned and indifferent electorate. These pictures give a flavour of the campaigning.

{gallery}Battling for Votes in Kyrgyzstan{/gallery}

 By IWPR Central Asia

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