12/01/2021, 09.24
KYRGYSTAN
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Biškek elections amidst fraud and disputes

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Only seven parties have passed the 5% barrier, most of them linked to President Zaparov. Protests in front of the Electoral Commission. In the last 15 years the country has often been the scene of regime overthrows.

 

 

Moscow (AsiaNews) - According to the first results, in the elections for the renewal of the Kyrgyz Parliament (Zhogorku Keneš) only seven parties passed the 5% barrier. The most voted is Ata-Žurt Kyrgyzstan: the liberal-democratic formation linked to President Sadyr Žaparov has collected 13.9%. In second place, with 13.6%, was the "transversal" group Yntymak; another party close to the president, Inesim, took 11.5%, while the religiously inspired Yman Nuru (Justice and Development) came in at 7.9%. 

The opposition party Alians stopped just above 7%; another grouping critical of the government, El Umutu, got 6.3%. Butun Kyrgyzstan, heirs of exponents of the old regime, gained 5.1%.

The vote was held on November 28 and the results are not yet final, as the manual recount of the ballots is still underway, in the face of various criticisms of the way the elections were held. Kyrgyzstan has been very unstable for years and has been subject to constant regime overthrow, and protests are always frequent and tumultuous. According to the president of the Electoral Commission Nuržan Šajlabekova, the problem is only in the "incorrect formulas of the information system", but several parties have already declared that they do not recognize the results.

Žaparov intervened with a message on Facebook, in which he warned that "if falsifications are proven, all members of the Election Commission will be held accountable according to the law." The situation could degenerate again into a general crisis, and the Head of State tries to stand as a defender of legality and guarantor of all political forces in the field.

Already on November 29 several people gathered in front of the building of the Electoral Commission, protesting against fraud and claiming results very different from those announced.

The journalist Turat Akimov, who ran for the Uluttar Birimdigi (Dignity and Order) party, denounced the suspension of the server during the electronic counting. The interruption would have made many ballots of different parties disappear, "up to 25-30% of the votes". There is talk of unidentified hacker attacks, or simple diversionary actions, especially in Oš province.

Even in the small town of Kyzyl-Adyr, in the Talas region, residents took to the streets in protest. The local candidate for the majority seat, former speaker of parliament Dastan Džumabekov, is accused of buying votes, thus winning the duel with his opponent Mirlan Narbekov by a handful of votes (39.37% against 38.99). The protesters are demanding his exclusion from the electoral competition.

Many politicians, such as the leader of the socialist party Ata Meken, Omurbek Tekebaev, are calling for the re-run of the elections, also contesting the manual recount. In his opinion, "the vote was supposed to put a definitive point on the long political crisis in our country, but on the contrary it is aggravating it."

Representatives of the liberal Azattyk party addressed a petition to the authorities, also calling for a new round of elections. The leader of the formation, Ismail Isakov, denounced that "time passes, and falsifications multiply." Another liberal exponent, Akhmatbek Keldibekov, denounced the "theft of votes" in many polling stations.  Azattyk is said to be just below the 5% threshold, and its exponents instead believe that they have easily surpassed it.

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