BISHKEK, May 8. About 350 voters of the Karakulja constituency held a meeting today, criticizing the electoral bodies for their refusal to allow Usen Sydykov, the opposition politician and former deputy prime minister, to participate in the run-off for a parliament seat in the constituency. Among the meeting participants were deputies of the Legislative Assembly (lower chamber) of the Kyrgyz parliament, Azimbek Beknazarov, Bektur Asanov and Duishen Chotonov. The Karakulja district authorities told RFE/RL today that about 60 people attended the peaceful gathering.
Sydykov, who is also the chairman of the Agrarian-Labor Party, took 46 percent of the votes in the constituency in the first round held on 20 October of last year. However, the Osh City court passed a verdict on 27 October, barring Sydykov from the run-off. The court and the election authorities accused him of shortcomings in documentation. Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court upheld the previous court ruling on November 1 of last year. Sydykov and the opposition said the verdict was politically motivated.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) proposed on 31 October to postpone the run off set for November 3 of last year. There were several protest actions, including gatherings and marches, in support of Sydykov in several towns and villages.
After the long (more than six-months) delay, the run-off has been set for May 11 of this year, amidst protests of supporters of Sydykov. Two participants of the first round, Jolbors Osmonov and Zamirbek Parmankulov, are contenders in the run-off. The CEC chairman, Suliaman Imanbayev, told RFE/RL recently, that there are more than 70,000 eligible voters in the constituency.