Official campaigns have wound down ahead of national elections in Kyrgyzstan, where around half of the country’s 5.8 million people are eligible to vote on October 4. In the decade since the so-called Tulip Revolution ousted a Soviet-holdover president, the Kyrgyz social and political landscape has experienced periodic convulsions. But the country has also clung to democracy and a free press sufficiently to remain a bright spot in a region otherwise populated by authoritarian and dynastic governments. RFE/RL’s Qishloq Ovozi blogger Bruce Pannier has spent the last two weeks traveling the country to get a read on the atmosphere in the run-up to the vote and will be in the capital, Bishkek, on election day. … These parliamentary elections feature 14 political parties competing for all 120 seats in the Supreme Council. The vote has particular significance since Kyrgyzstan has a parliamentary system of government and a unicameral legislature.
Based on conversations during my recent travels and judging from the visibility of party promotions — posters, banners, flag, car stickers — it would surprise me if the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) did not fare well. Partly, this is due to people’s tendency to associate the Social Democrats with President Almazbek Atambaev, though he left the party upon becoming president, in accordance with Kyrgyz law.
Other parties that are likely to do well are the Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party, the Respublika Ata-Jurt (also Fatherland) party, Bir Bol, the Kyrgyzstan party, and Butun Kyrgyzstan Emgek (United Kyrgyzstan Labor). Some other parties such as Ar-Namys (Dignity) might pick up a few seats.
Only a fraction of the 500,000 to 800,000 Kygryz working outside the country are expected to cast ballots, a drop in the bucket in light of its 2.5 million eligible voters.
Full Article: Fact Sheet: Kyrgyzstan’s National Elections.