Zhaparov on the right track for landslide victory in Kyrgyzstan election

Preliminary outcomes present nationalist Sadyr Zhaparov, 52, gained virtually 80 p.c of the vote, avoiding a runoff.

Nationalist politician Sadyr Zhaparov is on the right track to a landslide victory in Kyrgyzstan’s snap presidential election, which was triggered by the collapse of the earlier authorities.

Zhaparov gained virtually 80 p.c of the vote on Sunday within the Central Asian nation which is carefully allied with Russia, in keeping with preliminary outcomes cited by Kyrgyzstan’s Central Election Fee, which means there shall be no runoff.

The info in the meantime confirmed his closest competitor trailing with lower than 7 p.c.

Greater than 80 p.c of voters have additionally supported a proposal to reform the structure to offer the president better powers at parliament’s expense, the fee mentioned.

Simply greater than 10 p.c supported the parliamentarian rule.

The referendum vote spells the tip for a blended political system adopted in 2010 to tame authoritarianism after two successive strongman presidents have been ejected from energy throughout avenue protests.

Violent protests which erupted final October sprung Zhaparov, 52, from jail to the prime minister’s chair and culminated in him assuming the interim presidency earlier than he ran for the full-time position.

Zhaparov, who was sentenced to a prolonged jail time period for kidnapping a provincial governor as a part of a protest, had his verdict quashed amid the October unrest and has outspent 16 presidential ballot rivals by a large margin.

Russia a ‘strategic companion’

Regardless of his nationalist stance – Zhaparov’s first act as prime minister was so as to add ethnicity info to nationwide ID playing cards – he has repeatedly pledged to keep up a detailed relationship with former Soviet overlord Moscow.

“Russia is our strategic companion,” Zhaparov mentioned after casting his poll in a suburb of capital Bishkek, and urged all teams to simply accept the outcomes in an effort to protect stability.

Russia operates a army airbase within the mountainous nation and is the principle vacation spot for tons of of hundreds of Kyrgyz migrant labourers.

Neighbouring China is one other key commerce companion and investor within the impoverished and predominantly Muslim nation, whose economic system has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing disruptions to commerce and journey.

Zhaparov’s jail sentence stems from his marketing campaign within the early 2010s to nationalise the large Kumtor gold mine operated by Canada’s Centerra Gold. After coming to energy final 12 months, nonetheless, he mentioned that was now not a purpose and he would solely search to make sure earnings are cut up pretty.

Zhaparov’s marketing campaign, which mixed references to conventional symbols and values with guarantees comparable to doubling healthcare spending struck a chord with voters, particularly in rural areas.

Earlier than toppling the federal government of President Sooronbay Jeenbekov in October, comparable violent protests deposed presidents in 2010 and 2005. One other former head of state, Almazbek Atambayev, is below arrest on corruption fees.

Protesters earlier on Sunday denounced Zhaparov’s plan to vary the structure, which opponents say will put the nation on a path to authoritarianism.

“I’m right here to point out my assist for the structure, the rule of regulation and parliamentarism,” mentioned Aizhamal Bektenova, 23.

“I’m in opposition to what is going on in my nation. It’s a usurpation of energy, disrespect in the direction of the regulation. Folks got here right here in protest in opposition to the corrupt management that wishes to take the ability away from the individuals,” she added.

Nonetheless, others imagine Zhaparov is Kyrgyzstan’s final hope.

“I really feel sorry for Zhaparov,” mentioned supporter Uliijan, 46.

“Already now the parliament is consistently criticising him. They won’t go away him in peace. I hope he’ll fulfil his guarantees. In all probability not all of them however not less than some. It’ll already be so much.”

Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska contributed to this report from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

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