Kyrgyz election front-runner claims outright win

October 31, 2011 - 1:15 AM

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — The front-runner in Kyrgyzstan's presidential election, Almazbek Atambayev, has claimed victory after winning an overwhelming share of votes in Sunday's polls.

Spokesman Kadyr Toktogulov said Monday that Atambayev secured broad support across the entire former Soviet Central Asian nation, quelling fears that the election could expose tensions between the north and south.

With almost 98 percent of precincts counted, Atambayev had garnered more than 63 percent of ballots cast. But his rivals have not conceded and will likely file complaints over alleged violations.

Acting President Roza Otunbayeva, who has been running the country since 2010, will step down for the winner, setting the stage for the first peaceful transition of power in the ex-Soviet nation.