Azerbaijan, Baku, June 12 / Trend , E. Ostapenko/
OSCE PA Chairman Joao Soares prior to presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan urged democratic changes in the country and stressed need for support to OSCE principles in the election process, the OSCE press release said.
"The election is critical to Kyrgyzstan's future," Mr. Soares, who is on a week-long visit to three countries in Central Asia, stated. "Kyrgyzstan must not miss yet another opportunity on the road to democracy."
OSCE delegation discussed preparations for presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan to be held on July 23. Kyrgyzstan has invited OSCE representative to monitor the elections.
Current president Kurmanbek Bakiyev is running for president for the second term. Seven candidates are contesting the elections.
OSCE observation mission will closely watch the events on the day of election and also after elections, he said.
Soares' visit to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan started on June 7 and will run through June 14. The visit aims to support work of OSCE missions in regions.
Soares expressed his concern about allegations of politically motivated violence in Kyrgyzstan and called for the upcoming election campaign to be held in a peaceful manner, with full respect for all participants to campaign freely.
Soares encouraged active participation by all citizens in the election process. He noted his intention to appoint an experienced politician to lead the parliamentary delegation and to deliver balanced conclusions following the election.
The OSCE PA delegation met with high-level officials during the visit to Kyrgyzstan, including the President of the Republic, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Speaker of parliament, presidential candidates and political party representatives from major parties both in parliament and not represented in parliament, as well as representatives of civil society.
President Soares' visit to Kyrgyzstan followed a visit to Kazakhstan. Today he visits Tajikistan.
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