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China and Russia to test Japarov after Kyrgyz election cakewalk

Central Asian state's new president faces pressure to deliver as economy sinks

Sadyr Japarov, who was in prison a little over three months ago, positioned himself as a "man of the people" and trounced his election rivals.   © Reuters

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz voters have elected a populist new president and simultaneously chosen how they want to be governed in a referendum. In contrast to the violent scenes that followed rigged parliamentary polls last October, the voting on Sunday passed peacefully, with the favorite Sadyr Japarov cruising to a landslide victory.

The election may prove to be the easy part for Japarov, who now faces a host of economic problems as well as challenging relations with his country's two main partners -- Russia and China.

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