Kyrgyzstan votes for new parliament

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov (Photo: Kabar)

By Nurzhan Kasmalieva   

BISHKEK: The parliamentary elections have started in Kyrgyzstan on Sunday morning.

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov was one of the first to cast his ballot in a polling station in the outskirts of the capital, Bishkek. After the voting, the head of state called on fellow citizens to be active in the elections and defend their civic position. “The future of the country depends on this,” the president said.

According to data of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Kyrgyzstan, 2,435 polling stations have been opened across the country at 8 a.m. local time and another 59 polling stations opened abroad in 29 countries.

The total number of voters in a single constituency is 3,703,420 voters. In single-mandate constituencies, it is 3,619,292 (excluding voters registered abroad).

In total, 21 political parties were registered to participate in the elections and 286 candidates were registered in single-mandate constituencies. Overall, about 1,300 people have been registered as candidates.

The parliamentary election in progress (Photo: KAbar)

The parliamentary election in progress (Photo: KAbar)

The Parliament members will be voted in through a mixed electoral system with 54 of them to be elected according to a proportional system from political parties, and 36 others are to be elected from single-mandate constituencies on a majority basis.

The new Kyrgyz Parliament (Jogorku Kenesh) will consist of 90 deputies  elected for a term of five years, according to the new Constitution of Kyrgyzstan, adopted at a referendum on April 11, 2021. Before the amendments, the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan consisted of 120 deputies elected for a five-year term based on party lists.

More than 12,000 policemen are involved in the operation to ensure public order and security at polling stations across the country. In addition, more than 500 veterans of the Internal Affairs Directorate are also assisting in ensuring law and order during the elections.

Head of the department of the investigation service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan Sultan Makilov told reporters that the social and political situation in the country remains stable.

Earlier, the security services of Kyrgyzstan foiled an attempt to seize power violently ahead of the parliamentary elections.

A total of 15 active members of the group of people planning to organize provocations to destabilize the socio-political situation in the country immediately after the elections, were detained on November 26 during the work carried out by the State Committee for National Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure the security of the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The special services found out that this group, led by certain destructive political forces, including parliament members and former high-ranking officials, was planning to organize mass protests in Bishkek, followed by an aggravation of the situation, provoking clashes with law enforcement entities and further violent seizure of power after the announcement of the results of the parliamentary elections.

The voting process in Kyrgyzstan is underway under the watch of 736 international observers, accredited in the CEC of Kyrgyzstan.

The most numerous missions are from the CIS, OSCE, SCO, assemblies of Turkic-speaking countries and the Council of Europe, as well as Organizations of Turkic States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Casting ballots in the parliamentary electiobns (Photo: Kabar)

Casting ballots in Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections (Photo: Kabar)

The head of the observer mission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ambassador Boubakar Adamou praised the elections in Kyrgyzstan.

“Since the elections in January, improvements have been made to the system. We wish you successful elections,” he said.

Another observer, Coordinator of the group of international observers from the Interparliamentary Assembly (IPA) of the CIS, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense and Security Issues of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan Kutbidin Burkhanov also stressed the high level of preparation and organization of voting process in Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections.

“I would like to note that the preparation for the elections and the organization of polling stations was at a high level. This morning, when the polling stations opened, there were minor technical difficulties at some polling stations, which were eliminated. So far, we have not noticed any political interference in the electoral process. Everything is transparent and open. Following the elections, we will forward all our recommendations identified during the observation to the CEC,” he said.

Chairman of the Institute for Peace and Development of Central Asia Public Fund, political scientist Bakytbek Zhumagulov noted that the elections are being held in a calm atmosphere.

“The policy of the authorities aimed at eliminating the use of administrative resources and bribery to influence the activity of citizens. So, we did not observe today the deliveries of voters,” the expert said.

The previous parliamentary elections, held on October 2020, ended in mass demonstrations and the resignation of the president and the government. Supporters of political parties that failed to win seats organized protests in Bishkek demanding the annulment of election results, claiming gross violations. As a result the CEC annulled the results of the elections.

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