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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