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Kyrgyzstan: Ruling Party's Presidential Candidate Bags Shock First-Round Victory

A voter casting his ballot at a polling station in Kyrgyzstan's presidential election on October 15. (Photo: EurasiaNet/Danil Usmanov)

Vote officials in Kyrgyzstan have released preliminary results showing Sooronbai Jeenbekov as the overwhelming winner of the presidential elections with 55 percent of the ballots cast.

By winning more than half the votes cast, Jeenbekov has avoided the prospect of a second-round runoff against his closest rival, the multimillionaire Omurbek Babanov, who got around 34 percent of the vote.

There had in the final days ahead of the October 15 vote been mounting speculation that neither frontrunner would make it past the 50 percent threshold, making Jeenbekov’s decisive win a surprising result for many.

Jeenbekov was nominated to run in the election by the ruling Social Democratic Party, or SDPK, and had received implicit support from outgoing President Almazbek Atambayev, who is stepping down after his single constitutionally permitted six-year term. His campaign has been predicated in large part on the promise of stability and continuity -- both highly appealing concepts in a country that has known many passages of political turbulence.

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Kyrgyzstan: Ruling Party's Presidential Candidate Bags Shock First-Round Victory

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