BISHKEK, July 25 (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan, which is trying to establish the first parliamentary democracy in authoritarian post-Soviet Central Asia, will elect a new legislature on Oct. 4, according to a presidential decree published on Saturday.
The mainly Muslim nation of 5.5 million remains volatile after two presidents were deposed by popular revolts in 2005 and 2010, and more than 400 people died in June 2010 in clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the south.
President Almazbek Atambayev’s decree ordered the Central Election Commission “to ensure that the election is free, fair and transparent”. It ordered the government to take steps to safeguard public order and national security during the polls.
Last week Kyrgyz security police clashed with armed militants in the capital Bishkek, killing six and capturing seven people who officials said belonged to Islamic State and had been planning two large-scale attacks.
In the past few years Kyrgyzstan has moved deeper into the orbit of its former master Russia, which keeps a military air base there and has signed several big economic projects with Bishkek.
Ties with the United States, which has provided around $2 billion in aid since independence in 1991, have soured this month after Kyrgyzstan tore up a cooperation deal following the United States conferring an award on a jailed local dissident serving a life sentence for inciting ethnic hatred.
Kyrgyzstan’s single-chamber parliament, which appoints prime ministers who wield wide powers, is elected every five years. (Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov)