Experts: Parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan to be held peacefully

Politics Materials 29 September 2010 15:39 (UTC +04:00)
Parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan will likely pass off peacefully but the political situation in the country could get worse after the October poll, experts say.

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.29 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova /

Parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan will likely pass off peacefully but the political situation in the country could get worse after the October poll, experts say.

"Most likely, the election will be held peacefully, however, how the situation further will develop in the country against a backdrop of political confrontation is unknown," - Russian expert on the CIS Stanislav Pritchin believes.

Kyrgyzstan plans to hold parliamentary elections Oct. 10. Representatives of 29 parties will contest 120 seats. The party that takes the largest number of seats in the parliament will form the new government.

A decision to change the governance of the country from a presidential to a parliamentary system was adopted by the republic's interim government which came to power after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's overthrow in April 2010. The decision was legitimized by a referendum held in the country in June this year.

Observers frequently say that Kyrgyzstan is not ready to move to a parliamentary system of governance, and even predict a new wave of instability in the country.

However, experts believe that despite the possible attempts of internal forces to destabilize the situation before the elections, they will be held peacefully.

"Allies of the former president Bakiev or other anti-government forces, including those involved in the illicit drug trade, may use the period before the elections to provoke clashes with the government or challenge government's control in the south," European expert on Central Asia, Jana Kobzova, wrote to Trend in an e-mail.

She said the government is trying to prevent this also by strengthening cooperation with Russia, which is due to open a new military facility in southern Kyrgyzstan next year. At the same time, none of Kyrgyzstan's neighbours want to see an escalation of violence as this may destabilize volatile border regions in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or China.   

According to Kyrgyz expert Orozbek Moldaliev, talk of a possible escalation of the situation in the country on the eve of parliamentary elections is part of a propaganda campaign waged by foreign media outlets.

"The Internet space and media outlets in the CIS are filled with vigilance in relation to the upcoming elections, but I think that the elections will take place peacefully," Moldaliev told Trend over the phone from Bishkek.

He said that now Kyrgyzstan has no reason for political speculation as the election campaign involves all 29 parties that will be represented in the parliamentary elections and, in addition, does not intend representatives of the former regime.
"They'll keep vigilant watch on each other, which means theirs no need for speculation," Moldaliev said.

However, according to MSU researcher Pritchin, despite official statements claiming the situation is under control, there are many factors that may yet show themselves.

One of the main problems in Kyrgyzstan is a clear division of the country into north and south, Kobzova, the expert from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), believes.

"Participants in the elections - the regional parties Ata-Meken, Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), and Ak-Shumkar - are northern parties, and they do not have much support in the south of the country," Pritchin told Trend over the telephone from Moscow.

"On the other hand, the main opposition force in Kyrgyzstan, the Ata-Jurt Party is the southern party. There is a certain division of the country on the level of the pre-election campaign."

Moldaliev believes that one cannot be sure that the election will pass off completely smoothly since it is the first democratic election in the country.

"Of course, a manifestation of discontent after the elections is possible, there will always be dissatisfaction. But there is no point in the CEC falsifying the election results. All of these claims will be resolved in court," Moldaliev said.