News / Asia

Krygyzstan Parties Start Coalition Talks for Parliamentary Democracy

Members of local electoral committee sort through a ballot box, at a polling station in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 10 Oct. 2010.
Members of local electoral committee sort through a ballot box, at a polling station in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 10 Oct. 2010.
James Brooke

Kyrgyzstan's government held a democratic election - and then lost it.  That is the assessment in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital.

Defying pre-election polls, a virulently nationalist party, Ata-Zhurt, or Fatherland, emerged as the top vote getter among the five parties that will seat representatives in Kyrgyzstan's new parliament.

Next month, under a new constitution, Kyrgyzstan is to become Central Asia's first parliamentary democracy.  But Fatherland, and a pro-Russia party that did surprisingly well, Ar-Namys, campaigned for taking the nation back to a presidential system.

That is the murky picture that emerged after the nation's two pro-government parties, the Social Democrats and Ata Meken, performed surprisingly poorly.

As politicians start bargaining to forge a ruling coalition, the kingmaker role may be played by Respublika, a new force.  The party's founder, Omurbek Babanov, a businessman, met last month with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

How the election went

With the shape of Kyrgyzstan's government expected to be a work in progress for weeks, authorities preferred to talk about the conduct of Sunday's voting.

Interim President Roza Otunbayeva posted a video message on her website that hailed the election.
She said, across this mountainous land Kyrgyz people "without pressure, without dictates, without any kind of run-around or machination, voted for those parties which they consider to be the strongest."

Breaking with the region's political tradition of rigged elections, Kyrgyzstan, she said, held "free, democratic and open elections".

This assessment was largely shared by an election monitoring group from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

"Fundamental freedoms, including the right of assembly, association, and expression, were generally respected," Norwegian parliamentarian, Martin Hoglund, who led the group, said.  "I have observed  a number of elections in Central Asia over the past years. I must say, this is election in Central Asia that I have been to, where I could not predict the outcome.  And I believe this election reflected the will of the people of the Kyrgyz Republic.''

The observer group, part of about 500 foreign monitors who fanned out across the nation on Sunday, said voting was hampered by outdated voting lists.  The observers also cited the inability of some Uzbeks to vote in southern Kyrgyzstan because they had lost their documents in ethnic violence last June.   

Vote manipulation?


About 57 percent of voters turned out across the nation.  Surprisingly, Osh, the center of last summer's ethnic violence, reported the nation's highest turnout at 66 percent.

One American poll watcher in Osh, who asked not to be named, said that authorities there manipulated voting to favor the nationalist Fatherland Party.  He said it was odd that in one Uzbek majority district, the votes went heavily to the Fatherland Party, a group whose leader has said Uzbeks should never enjoy equal rights with Kyrgyz.

With 95 percent of the vote counted, the only area with incomplete results was a heavily Uzbek area in the south.

Despite the irregularities, the election took place without violence.  And it appears the results will be largely accepted without violence.

Most political leaders are now behind closed doors, having shifted their energies to negotiating a ruling coalition in the 120-member parliament that is to meet in November.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid