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The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan has announced official results of the presidential elections in the Kyrgyz Republic held on October 15. Kabar, the official news agency of the country interviewed the President elect Sooronbai  Jeenbekov. Below are the excerpts of the interview.

Now the Central Election Commission has officially declared the final results of the presidential elections in the Kyrgyz Republic. You are officially declared the winner of the election. What do you feel?

Undoubtedly, this feeling of tremendous responsibility for the country and for the trust of people of Kyrgyzstan to me! This is a big burden, and I feel it, may be, physically. Together with our whole team, together with all the people I will do everything to justify the people’s trust, so that no one citizen regret that he voted for me! Besides, all the citizens who voted for other candidates believe in me.

What will be your first actions as President of the Kyrgyz Republic?

First of all I thank the Kyrgyz people. Our people once again have shown their maturity. Not everyone believed that democratic, fair and transparent elections will be held in Kyrgyzstan, but they took place. This is the great merit of President Almazbek Atambayev, for which I thank him.

I express my gratitude to all members of my team in Bishkek and in regions and campaigners. I thank the public and international observers. I would also like to thank other presidential candidates who honestly fought and made the elections democratic and competitive. I believe that my victory is a common victory for the whole of Kyrgyzstan.

We have a lot of work ahead. My first steps as President will be to take the steps that underline the continuity of the course of Almazbek Atambayev and the determination to continue reforms.

The President has many responsibilities and powers under the Constitution. No one, except the head of state, can perform the functions of coordinating the interaction of branches of state power without compromising their independence. First of all, we are talking about guarantees of following strategic directions in the development of Kyrgyzstan.

International observers gave their assessment. In your opinion, did the elections by using biometric data justify itself?

The people of Kyrgyzstan accepted the results of the elections. And this is the main answer to your question. Of course, the elections based on biometric data justified itself. Moreover, the current presidential elections were the third one, which were conducted in Kyrgyzstan by using biometric data. By using biometrics, we successfully held the parliamentary elections of 2015, elections to local councils in 2016 and presidential elections in 2017.

And I can say with confidence that every time holding elections with the help of biometric data provides more transparency of elections and this system has fully justified itself.

International observers praised the presidential elections. For example, the OSCE Election Observation Mission stated that the elections had contributed to ensuring democratic processes in Kyrgyzstan, were competitive, and voters had a wide choice. In addition, I can cite as an example the statement of the CIS observers, who noted that the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan were held at a high level, fully in line with the legislation and international norms were open, competitive and transparent.

What will be the working schedule of the future President of Kyrgyzstan, and what do you do in your spare time?

Since I was a kid I used to work hard. The working day begins early in the morning, ends late at night. And one can’t change this approach. If I have a free time, I usually do long walks, read books. In my young age, I was seriously fond of playing volleyball, in my free time I can sometimes play a ball.

For the presidency I have come with a firm determination to implement all my election promises, to continue the reforms that have been started, to strengthen all that the country has achieved in recent years. And I am ready to devote all my strength, experience, knowledge and time to serve the people and the country.

Kyrgyzstan should become one of the most successful countries in the region; we have all the opportunities for this. We already have a good foundation. We, the Kyrgyz, must be united. We should be honest in everything – in politics, in life, in work. We must work hard and achieve success, each in his own field. And then we will succeed. (interviewed by Ulan Choibekov)

© 2017 Embassy of Kyrgyz Republic in New Delhi, India