Kyrgyzstan

Articles about voting issues in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Kyrgyzstan: Vote-buying, counting glitches marred Kyrgyzstan vote – observers | Reuters

European observers said on Monday vote-buying and significant procedural problems marred Kyrgyzstan’s presidential vote, though they praised the move towards an orderly transfer of power in the volatile ex-Soviet state. Sooronbai Jeenbekov, a protege of the outgoing president, won on Sunday with 55 percent – a stronger result than the near tie polls had predicted. Opposition leader Omurbek Babanov conceded defeat but said he would investigate irregularities. The election is seen as a test of stability in the central Asian country where Russia still holds considerable sway and two previous leaders were ousted in violent riots. Kyrgyz news website Turmush.kg published a video showing hundreds of Babanov supporters rallying outside a local government building in his home Talas region. But there were no reports of violence. Read More

Kyrgyzstan: Jeenbekov Wins Kyrgyz Presidential Vote as Rival Urges Stability | Bloomberg

Former Prime Minister Sooronbay Jeenbekov won Kyrgyzstan’s presidential election, according to preliminary official data, as his defeated rival called for unity in the central Asian republic that’s been roiled by political violence in the past. Jeenbekov, who’s backed by outgoing President Almazbek Atambayev’s Social Democratic party, received 54.3 percent of the about 1.7 million votes cast, making a run-off unnecessary, the central election commission reported Monday. Businessman Omurbek Babanov, who heads the opposition Respublika party, was second with 33.4 percent. Turnout was 56 percent of 3 million eligible voters. Read More

Kyrgyzstan: Pro-Russia candidates vie as Kyrgyzstan chooses president | Reuters

Kyrgyzstan voted on Sunday in a presidential election with observers predicting no outright winner and a close runoff between two pro-Russian candidates, one of whom is backed by the outgoing leader. The mainly Muslim central Asian nation of 6 million people has a history of violent protest, and the main opposition candidate, oil tycoon Omurbek Babanov, has accused the government of attacking his supporters and campaign staff. President Almazbek Atambayev – likely to remain a powerful figure if his preferred candidate Sooronbai Jeenbekov wins – warned on Sunday he would use any violence as an opportunity to “cleanse” the country. Read More

Kyrgyzstan: Bucking the central Asian trend for rigged elections | The Guardian

There’s something very odd about Kyrgyzstan’s upcoming presidential election. The vote is less than a week away, and nobody knows who is going to win. In a region known for ageing autocrats and rigged elections, Kyrgyzstan is a strange anomaly. The mountainous former Soviet republic of 6 million inhabitants has experienced two revolutions in the past 12 years and is now a chaotic but functioning democracy. A dozen contenders will take part in Sunday’s presidential vote, and the two leading contenders both say they expect to win. One is a former prime minister and the choice of the outgoing president, and the other is a charismatic businessman who promises more economic opportunities for the impoverished country. The capital, Bishkek, is plastered with billboards promoting various candidates, and the leading candidates draw thousands of people to their rallies. Read More

Kyrgyzstan: Diplomat says Kyrgyzstan set for ‘freest and fairest election in central Asian history’ | The Guardian

There’s something very odd about Kyrgyzstan’s upcoming presidential election. The vote is less than a week away, and nobody knows who is going to win. In a region known for aging autocrats and rigged elections, Kyrgyzstan is a strange anomaly. The mountainous former Soviet republic of 6 million inhabitants has experienced two revolutions in the past 12 years and is now a chaotic but functioning democracy. A dozen contenders will take part in Sunday’s presidential vote, and the two leading contenders both say they expect to win. One is a former prime minister and the choice of the outgoing president, and the other is a charismatic businessman who promises more economic opportunities for the impoverished country. The capital, Bishkek, is plastered with billboards promoting various candidates, and the leading candidates draw thousands of people to their rallies. Read More

Kyrgyzstan: MP Detained on Suspicion of Plotting Election-Related Unrest | EurasiaNet

With just two weeks left to go until Kyrgyzstan’s presidential elections, the authorities have embarked on another highly politicized criminal case, accusing a well-known lawmaker of plotting to foment riots and topple the government. The General Prosecutor’s Office announced in a statement on September 30 that it is filing criminal proceedings against Kanatbek Isayev, who has been formally detained, on charges that he planned to provoke violent unrest in the event of a political ally failing to win the October 15 election. Isayev is identified in the statement as a supporter of one of the election frontrunners, Omurbek Babanov. Prosecutors claim that Isayev entered into an agreement with “representatives of organized criminal groups” to “pursue active measures aimed at the organization of mass unrest.” Read More

Kyrgyzstan: Foreign Ministry accuses Kazakhstan of backing opposition presidential candidate | Reuters

Kyrgyzstan accused Kazakhstan on Wednesday of interfering in its Oct. 15 election after Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev met a Kyrgyz opposition presidential candidate, underlining tensions between the Central Asian neighbors. Nazarbayev’s office said on Tuesday he had met the candidate, Omurbek Babanov, a leader of the Kyrgyz opposition Respublika-Ata Zhurt party, in Kazakhstan, and had expressed readiness to work “with a new president in whom the Kyrgyz people will put their trust”. The Kyrgyz foreign ministry said it viewed the meeting and Nazarbayev’s comments as an expression of support for Babanov, 47, one of the main challengers to the ruling party’s candidate. Read More

Kyrgyzstan: Voters amend constitution in referendum, boosting government powers | Reuters

Kyrgyzstan has voted in favor of constitutional changes boosting the power of its government, the Central Election Commission said on Sunday, citing preliminary results of a national referendum. The commission said that with most ballots counted in the Central Asian nation of six million, about 80 percent of voters had supported the package of constitutional amendments proposed by allies of President Almazbek Atambayev. Voter turnout was about 42 percent. The amendments include provisions granting more powers to the prime minister and the government, which is dominated by members of Atambayev’s Social Democratic party. Read More

Kyrgyzstan: Korean technology helps Kyrgyzstan count ballots in election | Korea JoongAng Daily

Korean’s electoral ways may provoke anguish in editorials and groans from the public at large. Don’t tell that to Kyrgyzstan, which thinks Korea’s way with elections is the best. Kyrgyzstan’s general election earlier this month involved 2,338 polling places nationwide. In previous elections, counting the votes was manual and the process took three days. But on Oct. 4, it took only two hours to count 95 percent of votes. The process could be viewed by the public in real-time through the Central Election Commission (CEC) website. The technology was brought in from Korea. Voters placed their ballots on optical readers that read the votes and automatically sent the tallies to the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC) via the Internet. Read More

Kyrgyzstan: Pro-Russian Social Democrats win Kyrgyzstan elections | AFP

The Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, linked to pro-Moscow President Almazbek Atambayev, came out on top at Sunday’s parliamentary election in the ex-Soviet state, with five other pro-Russian parties also winning seats. Results released by the country’s Central Electoral Commission showed the SDPK, founded by Atambayev, won the hard-fought poll with close to 27 percent of the vote. In second place was the nationalist Respublika-Ata-Jurt party at just over 20 percent. Most of the parties competing in the election appeared to be alliances of convenience, targeting a regionally divided electorate without clear political platforms. Read More