Former prime minister, and preferred candidate of current president Almazbek Atambayev, Sooronbay Jeenbekov won Kyrgyzstan's presidential election outright in the first round of voting on Sunday, October 15, garnering just over 54 percent of ballots cast. Despite predictions of a tight race, Jeenbekov's main rival, Omurbek Babanov, came in second with just over 33 percent. Babanov issued a statement shortly after the results were announced, accepting the outcome. Celebratory gatherings by Jeenbekov's supporters are possible in the capital Bishkek in the coming days.
Incumbent Almazbek Atambayev did not run, as the 2010 constitution only allows presidents to serve a single six-year term.
Kyrgyzstan attained independence following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and its first two presidents were both unseated by revolutions, in 2005 and 2010. President Atambayev was the country’s first democratically elected president since a 2010 revolution and his decision to step aside at the end of his term represents the first regular transition of power in the country since independence.
Individuals in Kyrgyzstan are advised to avoid all gatherings, even those expected to remain peaceful, and to monitor any local developments.
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