17:23 GMT +319 September 2018
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    Polls close in Kyrgyzstan election, turnout above 50%

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    More than half of the electorate voted in parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan, the country's election authority reported after polls closed.

    More than half of the electorate voted in parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan on Sunday, the country's election authority reported after polls closed.

    Turnout was particularly strong in the city of Osh, which was at the center of the ethnic violence in June that killed an estimated 2,000 people, but most regions hovered around 50 percent.

    There is no minimum turnout for the election to be considered valid, but it was seen as important that the new parliament receive a strong mandate as the former Soviet republic treads a delicate path to stability after the unrest that led to and followed the ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April.

    The first results started coming in as soon as some polling stations closed, with election officials updating the commission website every few minutes.

    About half a dozen of the 29 parties on the ballot are expected to have sufficient support to receive seats in the parliament but experts could not predict what the balance of any governing coalition would be.

    Kyrgyzstan's move to a parliamentary republic has been praised by Washington, but Moscow has expressed concerns that instability in the country could become endemic without a strong president.

    BISHKEK, October 10 (RIA Novosti)

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