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    Kyrgyz authorities arrest 50 activists protesting election results

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    Some 50 opposition activists protesting the final results of Kyrgyzstan's presidential elections have been arrested, a Bishkek prosecutor told journalists on Wednesday.

    BISHKEK, July 29 (RIA Novosti) - Some 50 opposition activists protesting the final results of Kyrgyzstan's presidential elections have been arrested, a Bishkek prosecutor told journalists on Wednesday.

    Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Committee has officially declared incumbent President Kurmanbek Bakiev the victor in Thursday's election, giving him 76.4% of the vote. Almazbek Atambayev came in a distant second with 8%. Opposition supporters claim Atambayev garnered 60% of the vote.

    Gulya Kozhukulova said "the police acted within the law" in arresting the participants of the unsanctioned protests.

    Atambayev on Tuesday called on supporters to join "peaceful demonstrations, protests and other peaceful actions" against the "unprecedented falsifications during presidential elections."

    Bakiyev, 59, came to power in 2005 after leading street protests that forced his predecessor, the long-serving Askar Akayev, into exile, but he has come under pressure over a perceived failure to tackle economic problems and increasingly authoritarian stance.

    Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitors in Kyrgyzstan said the presidential vote failed to meet international standards, and cited cases of ballot box stuffing, inaccuracies in the voter lists, multiple voting, and other irregularities.

    The OSCE also said Bakiyev used administrative resources to ensure his reelection, and that campaigning in the Central Asian state was uneven, with candidates having unequal access to the media.

    Observers from former Soviet republics said no major violations had been registered.

     

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