U.S. says seriously concerned about Kyrgyz elections
The United States voiced strong concern on Thursday over the December 16 parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan and said the poll was marred by widespread irregularities.
Opposition parties in the tiny ex-Soviet state have sharply criticized the elections in which President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's Ak Zhol party won every seat in his country's next parliament.
A mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which observed the poll, said it failed to meet a number of OSCE standards.
"The United States is seriously concerned about the conduct of the December 16 parliamentary elections in the Kyrgyz Republic," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
McCormack said while there were some promising elements in the poll such as the accreditation of election observers, the United States agreed with the OSCE's assessment.
"(The election) was marred by significant obstacles for opposition parties and the use of government resources to benefit specific political interests," said McCormack.
He said uncertainty over election rules, widespread vote count irregularities and exaggerations in voter turnout, late exclusions from voter lists, and the revision of precinct protocols prevented a more open and democratic election.
"Greater transparency and respect for election laws and procedures are vital to the Kyrgyz people's aspirations for a more open and democratic nation," said McCormack.
"The United States remains committed to working with the government and people of the Kyrgyz Republic in these areas," he added. ( Reuters )