Elections in Kyrgyzstan on October 10 went surprisingly peacefully, according to international monitors and EurasiaNet correspondents who covered the poll. Ethnic Uzbeks in the Osh region appeared able to cast their ballots, despite fears that they might be intimidated or reluctant to participate after so many unresolved issues following the pogroms in June. Yet the rise of some nationalist parties, and the anger at some parties that did not meet the threshold for a seat in parliament, indicate that the ethnic Uzbek community of Kyrgyzstan is far from secure, much less empowered. While the peaceful election is a significant accomplishment, some experts remain concerned that influential political forces unhappy with the voting results could still foment street protests, says EurasiaNet.
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Catherine A. Fitzpatrick compiles the Uzbekistan weekly roundup for EurasiaNet. She is also editor of EurasiaNet's Choihona blog. To subscribe to Uzbekistan News Briefs, a weekly digest of international and regional press, write firstname.lastname@example.org