BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — A former U.S. Senator says success in promoting democracy in the turbulent Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan could serve as a positive influence in a region dominated by dictatorships.

Tom Daschle, a former Democratic Senate Majority leader, told The Associated Press Thursday that he hoped the international community would seize the opportunity to build democratic institutions in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan is set to hold crucial parliamentary elections in October, the first such vote since former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in a bloody revolt in April.

Daschle, who is in Kyrgyzstan in his capacity as vice chairman of the Washington-based National Democratic Institute, said that he feels authorities have made an effort to ensure smooth elections.