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For Kyrgyz President, The Parliamentary Vote is a Family Affair

As the legislative election campaign intensifies in Kyrgyzstan, President Askar Akayev appears intent on packing Parliament with friends and relatives. His aim, political analysts say, is to ensure a smooth transition of executive authority later this year, when Akayev is expected to leave office following presidential elections.

The parliamentary election campaign formally started on February 2. Among those seeking seats in Parliament in the February 27 vote are two of Akayev's children, and two sisters-in-law. Other candidates with close ties to the presidential administration include the son of Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev and the son and son-in-law of Toichubek Kasymov, the president's chief of staff.

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Alisher Khamidov is a PhD candidate at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C.

For Kyrgyz President, The Parliamentary Vote is a Family Affair

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