Russian lawmaker: Kyrgyz ballot shows stability is on its way back

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Moscow, July 11 (RIA Novosti) - Sunday's presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan indicate that the short-term period of instability in the Central Asian republic may soon be over, said Mikhail Margelov, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Russian parliament's upper house, the Federation Council.

"The voting took place in a calm atmosphere, with only minor irregularities registered," he said.

Several thousand international observers, including from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), confirmed that the elections were free and fair, he said.

Kyrgyzstan's "ruling Bakiev-Kulov tandem symbolizes a union of the country's south and north, giving hope for further peaceful development of the situation in that country," he said. Margelov expressed hope that President-elect Kurmanbek Bakiev would deliver on the promises he had made during his election campaign and that he would honor his power-sharing agreements with Felix Kulov, who had withdrawn from the presidential race to support Bakiev.

Margelov pointed out that developments in Kyrgyzstan were of great importance to Russia, even more so following last week's summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional security alliance of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and China. At their first meeting since violent disturbances in that republic led to a regime change, the SCO leaders agreed to cooperate in preventing the region from being plagued by extremism, separatism and terrorism.

"The leadership of our countries are equally interested in [maintaining] alliances, and I'm certain Russian-Kyrgyz relations will develop at every level, including in contacts between non-governmental organizations," Margelov said.

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