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    Expert: Kyrgyzstan made its choice between secular and Islamic government

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    MOSCOW, July 11 (RIA Novosti) - The people of Kyrgyzstan made their choice Sunday between a secular and an Islamic government by voting for Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, regional expert Arkady Dubnov told a news conference.

    Bakiyev won more than 88.5% of votes, and the republic's ombudsman Tursuntai Bakir-uulu garnered 3.9%, placing him second.

    "The figure is very meaningful. You can be skeptical as much as you want, but it was the result of a free vote," he said.

    He said both factors had to be taken into consideration.

    Bakir-uulu received most support from the south of the country, in particular, from residents of Osh (southeast of Andijan), where religion is highly valued.

    "Hence, the vote showed that the Kyrgyz people have made their choice between secular and Islamic governments," the expert said.

    Another crucial factor, Dubnov said, is that "people are tired of chaos and the power gap."

    "People seized the opportunity to put an end to anarchy. A few leaders managed to reach an agreement before the country was split into the south and the north. This gives some hope for stability in Kyrgyzstan," he said.

    Dubov said the elections represented "post-stress syndrome" and that they "were an adequate reaction to the stress that the country suffered due to the coups."

    In March, a series of uprising swept Kyrgyzstan, forcing former President Askar Akayev to flee the country. Early presidential elections were held Sunday and resulted in a landslide victory for Bakiyev.

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