Kyrgyz voters cast their ballots yesterday to create the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia in an election many hope can unite the country four months after the widespread bloodshed.
Unique among elections in ex-Soviet Central Asia, voters did not know in advance which party would win and who would become prime minister. "Our people do not suffer from amnesia," said President Roza Otunbayeva after she cast her vote. "Our people know their history. They will rise quickly to create a parliamentary republic and protect it themselves."
In June, more than 400 people died in clashes between between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks.