Kyrgyzstan election: A historic vote but is it fair?..Jeenbekov wins historic election

For the first time in the history of Kyrgyzstan, an elected president is due to peacefully hand over power after elections take place on Sunday. But critics say the political environment in Central Asia’s “island of democracy” is deteriorating.

Here’s a look at the issues there – and who’s likely to come out on top.

Elections in Central Asia are usually easily predictable – the incumbent or the ruling party’s candidate wins the vote with an overwhelming majority. But the vote in Kyrgyzstan offers a real competition and choice.

Nearly 60 people applied to run in the race, 13 of whom were registered to stand. Two later dropped out. The incumbent, President Almazbek Atambayev, must leave office after six years. Under the Kyrgyz constitution, he may only serve one term.

In neighbouring states, laws have often been changed to allow the incumbent to run again but this did not happen in Kyrgyzstan. President Atambayev also promised not to go for the prime minister’s job in order to stay in power.

Although one of the main candidates – Sooronbay Jeenbekov – is from the president’s party, he is not guaranteed to win the vote. He faces a strong opponent – Omurbek Babanov, a prominent businessman and a former prime minister.

Some candidates made the unusual move of endorsing their opponents after the campaign started. Experts say that they went through all the trouble of getting into the race in order to increase their political influence.

They try to build a greater support base, which they use to negotiate a favourable deal with stronger candidates before pulling out of the race. Politicians can easily change sides, because it’s not ideology or a political platform but their own personality that they use to appeal to the voters.

Observers say that over the last couple of years the political climate in Kyrgyzstan has been deteriorating.

The Helsinki Commission wrote that “the vote takes place amid mounting concerns of democratic backsliding, particularly regarding the government’s treatment of political opposition, civil society and human rights defenders”.

President Atambayev has demonstrated increasing intolerance to criticism. The Sentyabr TV station which opposed him was closed last year for extremism, and activists say that there were blatant procedural violations during the trial.

Voters in Kyrgyzstan have elected a new president in a historic election.

Sooronbai Jeenbekov, a former prime minister backed by incumbent Almazbek Atambayev, won outright, confounding predictions of a tight race.

His main rival Omurbek Babanov got just over a third of the vote.

The former Soviet republic, a close ally of Russia, is now on track for its first peaceful power transfer between elected presidents since independence in 1991.

The first two presidents were ousted by riots.

Unlike other Central Asian states, which have been run by authoritarian leaders, Kyrgyzstan is a democracy.

Presidents are restricted to a single six-year term under a constitution that has been in force since 2010.

Election officials said Mr Jeenbekov had secured well over 50% of the vote in Sunday’s first round, against about 33% for Mr Babanov, an oil tycoon.

The election has been overshadowed by a row over allegations of interference from neighbouring Kazakhstan.

Current Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev angered the Kazakh authorities by saying Mr Babanov, who made his money there, was their choice for president. He has denied that he was backed by them.

In response Kazakhstan tightened customs checks at the border, leading to long queues.


just keeping an eye on any changes to leaders anywhere in the world..not many people know of this country or can pronounce its name!

as with all has strategic and physical resources the rest of the world can use..


~ by seeker401 on October 17, 2017.

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