November 19, 2017   
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Moscow, Oct 16  Kyrgyzstan’s socialist democrat candidate, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, won the first round of the presidential election with 54.2 per cent of the vote, the Central Election Commission said.

Omurbek Babanov, leader of the opposition Respublika-Ata Zhurt party and one of the richest man in the country, finished second, ahead of nine other candidates, Efe news reported.

The Election Commission on Sunday said Babanov garnered 33.6 per cent of the vote in the election, with 97 per cent of the ballots counted.

More than 3 million citizens cast ballots with 54 per cent turnout.

The results were rapidly announced, as new computer technologies and electronic voting machines were used in the election.

Kyrgyz election officials said the results were not final but stressed that the changes would be minimal and would not influence the final results.

Jeenbekov, who resigned as the Prime Minister to run for the presidency, pledged to continue the policies of the current President, Almazbek Atambayev, whose term ends on December 1.

The election campaign, marked by mutual accusations between the two main candidates, was seen as a struggle between the bureaucracy, personified by 58-year-old Jeenbekov, and the business sector, represented by the 47-year-old Babanov.