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After nearly 20 years of authoritarian rule since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the people of Kyrgyzstan directly vote for their new parliament.

Sunday's elections came only four month after more than 400 people were killed in clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. The country's year of political turmoil started in April, when Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the then Kyrgyz president, was overthrown by an interim government headed by Roza Otunbayeva.

She had then promised political reforms including a free and fair election. And as she delivers on that promise, it is hoped that the new government will help stabilise this ethinically divided country, reeling out of particularly violent period.

But is democracy the only answer to Kyrgyzstan's many woes? Will it bridge political and ethnic rifts?

Inside Story, with presenter Laura Kyle, discusses with Anar Musabaeva, a political analyst with the Institute for Public Policy, Pavel Felgenhauer, a columnist at Novaya Gazeta, and Najam Abbas, a senior fellow on Central and South Asia at the Eastwest Institute.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, October 10, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera