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Asia-Pacific

Kyrgyzstan set for coalition government

media Votes are counted in the capital Bishkek Reuters

Kyrgyzstan is set for a coalition government with nationalists holding a narrow lead after Sunday's legislative polls. The election was held under a new constitution after unrest this year that left hundreds dead.

There is expected to be a period of political bartering between five main parties following the results from Sunday's election. 

President Roza Otunbayeva, who had steadfastly refused to push back the poll desipte warnings that it could spark fresh violence, hailed the elections as a landmark moment in the history of the ex-Soviet state.  

"Now all Kyrgyz people can vote without pressure, without dictation and without any manipulation for those parties which they consider to be the most powerful, fair, and that could protect their interest in parliament", she said as voting began.

Opposition parties polled strongly, with the nationalist Ata-Zhurt party ahead with some 8.63 per cent of the vote, based on 88 per cent of the votes counted so far.

The biggest shock was that the pro-government faction Ata-Meken, which had been expected to take first place, is now coming in fifth.

It's hoped the elections will bring some peace to the country after between 200 and 4,000 people were killed in clashes between Krygyz and minority Uzbeks in June.

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