Kyrgyzstan prepares for landmark vote
The people of Kyrgyzstan go to the polls in a crucial election that could create the first parliamentary democracy in the central Asian region.
Final preparations are underway in Kyrgyzstan ahead of the parliamentary election on Sunday. Acting Head of State Roza Otunbayeva has urged all ethnic groups to make sure they are represented in the upcoming parliament.
"These elections are of fateful importance for our people and state," Otunbayeva said in an address to the nation.
She expressed hope that the election will create democracy after years of authoritarian rule in the former Soviet state, Press TV reported.
"We are not just electing a parliament but starting a new system and opening a new page in our history."
At the same time, however, there are concerns it could fuel existing ethnic tensions in the country's volatile south.
The political situation in Kyrgyzstan has been shaky since the revolt that overthrew former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April.
Reports claim that more than two thousand people were killed during clashes between the Uzbek and Kyrgyz in June.
Most of the clashes and violence was centered on the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad.