President’s allies to win parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan

According to early figures, parties aligned with current President Sadyrm Japarov are going to win Sunday’s parliamentary election by a landslide, and only one opposition grouping will have seats in the unicameral Supreme Council.

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With ballots from more than 90 percent of polling stations counted, opposition party Butun Kyrgyzstan had received 6.8 percent of the vote, with the rest split between a host of pro-presidential parties.

About 1,300 candidates from 21 political parties contested 90 parliamentary seats in Sunday’s vote under a mixed system in which some seats are assigned to constituencies and others distributed between parties. Parties needed to pass a 5 percent threshold to win any seats.

The current Kyrgyz President Sadyrm Japarov came to power during the turmoil that followed the October 2020 parliamentary elections, the results of which a number of political parties refused to accept. Freed from prison where he was serving a sentence for a political stunt that involved kidnapping a provincial governor, Mr Japarov became the PM within days and then successfully ran for president on a nationalist and populist platform.

Aside from pushing through constitutional reforms strengthening the presidency, his major step so far has been the in fact nationalisation of the giant Kumtor gold mine operated by Canada’s Centerra Gold, precipitating an ongoing legal battle.

President Japarov has maintained the former Soviet republic’s traditionally close ties with Russia and dismissed suggestions of allowing the US to establish a military base in the country in addition to the existing Russian military airbase that allows Moscow to project power throughout the broader region and to locations such as Afghanistan.

This week the state security service headed by President Japarov’s close ally said it had prevented a coup planned by a group of unnamed former senior officials and parliament members.

In an address published after Sunday’s voting finished, the Kyrgyz head of state said that elections were “in accordance with the country’s constitution and international norms”. He added that “The authorities will never give ground to those who intend to upset stability and peace”.

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