Voters in Kyrgyzstan cast ballots Sunday in an early presidential election that will also determine how much power the next president has.\r\nThe vote follows the ouster of the previous president in October.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe ex-Soviet Central Asian nation sank into turmoil after a parliamentary election that was swept by pro-government parties. Opposition supporters accused authorities of rigging the vote and forced President Sooronbai Jeenbekov to step down on Oct. 15.\r\nSadyr Zhaparov, a 52-year-old politician who was freed from jail by protesters and then spearheaded Jeenbekov\u2019s removal from office, is widely expected to win the presidency.\r\nThe unrest marked the third time in 15 years when a leader of the 6.5-million nation on the border with China was forced out by a popular uprising. Like the previous uprisings that toppled presidents in 2005 and 2010, the latest turmoil was driven by clan rivalries that shape the country\u2019s politics.\r\nZhaparov, who had been in prison since 2017 on a kidnapping conviction, became the country\u2019s interim leader, but he renounced that position to be able to run for president as required by law. But despite that he has continued to call the shots, relying on his allies in parliament and is broadly expected to win the race against 16 other contenders.\r\nHe also pushed for the constitutional referendum Sunday that will determine whether the country should strengthen the powers of the presidency.\r\nKyrgyzstan, which is a member of Russia-dominated economic and security alliances, hosts a Russian air base and depends on Moscow\u2019s economic support. It formerly was the site of a US air base that served as a key transport hub for the war in Afghanistan.\r\nRussia has voiced concerns about the turmoil in Kyrgyzstan but refrained from supporting any of the presidential candidates.