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Opposition presidential candidate calls election 'illegal'

©

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-23

Kyrgyz opposition candidate Almazbek Atambayev said Thursday's presidential election should be declared illegal, but that it is too late to withdraw. His party has removed its observers from polling stations. Another candidate did withdraw.

REUTERS - Kyrgyz opposition candidate Almazbek Atambayev said Thursday’s presidential election should be declared illegal because of mass fraud, but he could not quit the race for technical reasons.


Addressing reporters earlier in the day, he condemned the election as fraudulent and announced plans to withdraw from the contest, but later said this was impossible under election rules.


“We demand this election be declared illegal,” Atambayev had said. “This means that we refuse to take part in this election and legitimise President (Kurmanbek) Bakiyev.”


Later his party issued a statement saying Atambayev could not withdraw.


“We deny this information because according to (Kyrgyz law) candidates can withdraw from the race only three days before the election by notifying the central election commission,” it said.


The statement added that the opposition had withdrawn all of its observers from polling stations as voting continued in an election certain to hand Bakiyev a second term in office.


Another candidate, Jenishbek Nazaraliyev, also announced he had decided not to take part in the race. The central election commission later said it had not received any notification from him either, according to 24.kg news agency.
 

Date created : 2009-07-23

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