Voters turned out in high numbers on October 30 for what promised to be Central Asia’s first relatively democratic presidential election. But allegations of foul play were rife, ensuring the results would be hotly contested. By evening, a group of candidates pointed to “gross violations” and demanded a recount.
Kyrgyzstan’s new lawmakers, representing five political parties, took their oaths of office on November 10. The much-anticipated opening legislative session in Bishkek increased the pressure on squabbling political leaders to cobble together a coalition government.
All in all, Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary elections couldn't have gone more smoothly. Now, with five parties qualifying for representation in the next parliament, attention in Bishkek is turning to the complex task of coalition building. The fragmented voting results may make it difficult to build a stable governing coalition under the country's new parliamentary system.
Omurbek Babanov, leader of Kyrgyzstan’s nascent Respublika Party, used a knack for dealmaking during the early post-Soviet era to turn himself into one of Kyrgyzstan’s richest citizens. Now, he is trying to apply his savvy touch to politics.
Kyrgyzstan’s upcoming parliamentary vote on October 10 is creating a quandary for the Central Asian nation’s Uzbek minority. Some Uzbek politicians see the elections as an opportunity to try to enhance minority rights.
One question hovers over political developments in Kyrgyzstan these days: Where does Russia stand? So it comes as no surprise that experts and pundits in Bishkek are busy sifting clues as to who the Kremlin is backing in the Central Asian nation’s upcoming parliamentary elections.