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    Voting opens in presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan

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    BISHKEK, July 10 (RIA Novosti, Yulia Orlova, Natalia Belova) - Voting in the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan opened this morning at 07.00 a.m. Electors will cast their votes at 2,182 polling stations in the republic and outside. Six candidates are running for the post of the republic's president. They include acting President and Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev, human rights ombudsman Tursunbai Bakir uuly, former interior minister Keneshbek Dushebayev, and leader of the Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan political party Zhypar Zheksheyev. The other two candidates include board chairman of the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Toktaiym Umetaliyeva and president of the republic's Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Akbaraly Aitikeyev.

    All the candidates passed an examination in the state language, gathered 50,000 electors' signatures and made an electoral deposit of 100,000 soms ($2,500).

    Initially, more than 20 Kyrgyz politicians announced their intention to run for president. But after acting President Bakiyev backed by the country's south formed an electoral coalition with Feliks Kulov, the leader of the Ar-Namys party supported by the republic's north, most candidates withdrew from the electoral race.

    Under a memorandum signed by the two politicians, Kulov will be the country's prime minister, if Bakiyev wins, and the powers of the head of the republic's government will be expanded considerably.

    All electors will have their fingers marked with invisible ink to ensure the transparency of the elections.

    Also, transparent ballot boxes were installed at all polling stations.

    Under law, the presidential elections will be invalidated, if less than 50% of the electors plus one turn up at the polling stations, or if electors give more votes "against all candidates."

    The preliminary results will be announced after Sunday's mid-night. By Monday's morning, about 50-60% of the voting results will be known.

    The voting was extended by two hours, from 07.00 a.m. to 21:00 p.m. due to the summer season.

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