President Bakiyev’s re-election flawed and rigged, OSCE says
OSCE monitors blast irregularities during the election campaign, complain about fraud. Opposition takes to the streets but police prevent people from demonstrating.
Bishkek (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Police in Kyrgyzstan have clashed with opposition activists as the latter marched through the capital in protest against last Thursday’s presidential election, which they say was rigged. Election monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) found that the poll indeed “fell short of key standards”.

Outgoing President Kurmanbek Bakiev won a landslide victory, but the opposition complained about fraud even before the polling stations closed.  

“Election day was marred by many problems and irregularities, including evidence of ballot box stuffing, inaccuracies in the voter lists and some evidence of multiple voting,” an OSCE report was quoted today as saying.

The election “failed to meet key OSCE commitments for democratic elections, including the commitment to maintain a clear separation between the ruling party and the state.”

The OSCE concluded that “the incumbent gained an unfair advantage over his opponents through the misuse of administrative resources and bias in the media coverage of the campaign.”

By contrast, Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission has already hinted that it is satisfied with the conduct of the vote. But the opposition is not yet willing to concede defeat.

Waving flags and shouting "Justice!”, about 50 protesters marched through Bishkek but were intercepted by police who scuffled with activists and tried to snatch away their banners.

Almazbek Atanbaev, a former prime minister and main opposition leader, has vowed to mobilise the public to protest against Bakiyev’s conduct of the campaign and election.

He is hoping to build a street protest movement like that of March 2005 which led then President Askar Akaev to resign and flee abroad.