It’s boom time for Kyrgyzstan’s political parties. When voters approved a new constitution on June 27, the country became the first parliamentary republic in Central Asia. Since then, the Justice Ministry has registered 148 parties to compete in elections scheduled for this October; more are reportedly waiting in the queue.
They stopped the looting, helped save the new government, and gave many frightened residents in strife-torn Kyrgyzstan peace of mind. But there’s a danger now that members of Kyrgyzstan's volunteer militia formations – or narodniye druzhiniki – may develop into players who exert undue influence over the next phase of the Central Asian nation’s political development.
Just weeks after Kyrgyzstan's worst violence in the post-Soviet era, voters turned out in larger-than-expected numbers on June 27 to cast ballots in a constitutional referendum. Many voters said they yearned for a return of stability to Kyrgyzstan.
BISHKEK – People in Kyrgyzstan have begun voting on a new constitution aimed at reducing presidential powers and paving the way for the country to become the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia, a region known for its autocratic presidents.
After months of political unrest and the worst violence in the country’s post-Soviet history, Kyrgyz voters are set to either endorse or reject a new constitution and a new president on June 27. Turnout in the looming referendum will be a test of confidence in Kyrgyzstan’s provisional leaders.
The effort to spin the mid-June violence in southern Kyrgyzstan is taking an eyebrow-raising turn. The head of Kyrgyzstan’s State Security Service, Keneshbek Dushebayev, is claiming that relatives of former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev conspired with Islamic militants to destabilize southern Kyrgyzstan.
As southern Kyrgyzstan continues to smolder, the country’s provisional government is thinking about opening a new income stream. Provisional leaders are seeking to slap a value-added tax of 12 percent, plus excise duties, on fuel imports destined for the Manas Transit Center.
Foreign diplomats and international organizations are backing a Kyrgyz provisional government decision to proceed with a constitutional referendum in late June, despite the widespread violence in southern Kyrgyzstan.
Clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s southern capital, flared for a second straight night on June 11. Government security forces appear undermanned and ill equipped to contain the violence, which has left at least 45 dead and hundreds injured.