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Hopes For Stability As Kyrgyz Presidential Vote Approaches

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

As Kyrgyzstan prepares to vote for a new president on October 30, many are hoping the ballot will usher in a period of stability after a volatile season of public protests, deadly clashes, and a dramatic presidential ouster.

The vote is the first full-fledged presidential ballot since the previous president, Kurmanbek Bakiev, was chased from office in violent antigovernment protests in April 2010.

Two months later, nearly 500 people were killed in the nation's south in spontaneous clashes between Uzbek and Kyrgyz communities.

North Vs. South

Many suspect the horrific events were the result of a political provocation rather than ethnic resentment. But the violence has left the region on edge and set the stage for a dramatic presidential contest between southern and northern candidates.

Paul Quinn-Judge, the Central Asia director of the International Crisis Group, says the vote is less about setting a fresh course for Kyrgyzstan, and more about preventing a backslide into the strife of the past year and a half.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Hopes For Stability As Kyrgyz Presidential Vote Approaches

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