27 September 2011

2011 Presidential Campaign

I'm testing posting by email.  Hope this works.

Campaigning started yesterday in Kyrgyzstan for the election on October 30th.  Just 5 weeks of campaigning for us; too bad for all you Americans who can look forward to about 5 million more weeks of campaigning.  Campaign posters are going up and yesterday while I was walking in the park a man handed me an eight-page newspaper about one of the candidates.

Twenty of the 83 people who registered for the election have been approved to run.  Each needed to pass a Kyrgyz language test, pay  a fee of about $2200, and get 30,000 signatures.  There are two who were not approved based on their signature counts who appealed to the Supreme Court, but I'm not sure what's going on with that.  The only reason to pay much attention to that is that one is a woman and there are no women among the 20 approved candidates.

Most of the candidates are currently in Parliament, in particular, Almazbek Atambaev, the Prime Minister.  There are also a variety of businessmen.  I'm working on a list of everyone and what sort of people they are and hope to post it soon.  

About that campaign newspaper yesterday.  It was for Omurbek Suvanaliev and he turns out to be one of the most interesting candidates in the mix.  He's a retired major-general in the militia which isn't typical, but he's also had some administrative experience in Naryn and Osh (he resigned in Osh right after the June events of last year).  He's well-known for fighting corruption (including good old Ryspek) and is known as Corrado Kattani.  I'm also trying to pin down whether he's in Ata-Jurt or Ar Namys which makes a big difference since different stories have different party affiliations listed. 

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