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Kyrgyzstan: Starting Pistol Fired for Parliamentary Race

During Kyrgyzstan’s political upheaval in April 2010, crowds gathered in central Bishkek outside the fire-scarred White House – then the seat of the president, but after the coup becoming the parliamentary assembly building. Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev declared that parliamentary elections are to be held Oct. 4. (Photo: David Trilling)

On a baking July day in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek, under-employed taxi driver Sadyrbek Kerimov, 34, stooped over a frothing irrigation channel to splash water onto his face.
 
“There are three things you cannot escape in this country,” he complained. “Heat, death and politics.”
 
With the president decreeing parliamentary elections are to be held on October 4, things are about to get hotter for the country’s excitable political class.
 
Kyrgyzstan is an outlier in Central Asia with its history of hosting genuinely competitive votes, so when campaigning officially begins on September 4, countless billboards will begin springing up across the country.
 
The 120-member Jogorku Kenesh is in recess until the beginning of September, so many lawmakers are still busy posting photos on social media of their breaks to Europe and the United States – destinations well beyond the means of most regular folk.
 

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Kyrgyzstan: Starting Pistol Fired for Parliamentary Race

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