Kyrgyzstan Elected New President and Called for Changes in the Form of Governance

The Central Commission for Elections and Referendums of Kyrgyzstan announced the preliminary results of the early presidential elections

They were held on 10 January in the same time with the referendum on determining the form of state government. 17 candidates took part in the election race.

New president Sadyr Zhaparov

The winner is a well-known Kyrgyz politician Sadyr Zhaparov, who previously served as head of state. As of 13 January, this year, he won 79.27% of the vote, being significantly ahead of his closest competitors — former head of the Security Council of the Kyrgyz Republic Adakhan Madumarov (6.74%), businessman Babyrzhan Tolbayev (2.35%) and journalist Myktybek Arstanbek (1.69%). In Bishkek, S. Zhaparov received 52% of the vote, in Osh — 77%, in Issyk-Kul region — 93.8%, in Naryn region — 89.7%, in Chui region — 73.8%, in Talas region — 83%, in Osh region — 82%, in Jalal-Abad region — 87%, in Batken region — 74%. The results of the referendum have shown that more than 80% of voters argued in favour of changing the form of government from a parliamentary to a presidential republic.

Many observers note the low turnout in the current elections, which amounted to 39.7% (in the previous presidential elections, it was almost 56%), explaining this by the fatigue of the Kyrgyz society from internal shocks that undermine social stability and weaken the country's political system. At the same time, even experts who are critical of the new head of Kyrgyzstan note that the elections were held democratically and without administrative pressure.

The presidential elections and the referendum on the form of government in Kyrgyzstan marked the end of the political crisis in the republic, which arose in October 2020 as a result of the severe economic and social consequences of the new coronavirus epidemic, as well as the aggravation of internal contradictions.

The results of the current presidential campaign did not come as a surprise to experts. Recent events have shown that S. Zhaparov has pronounced strong-willed qualities of a leader and a stable supporter base, especially among the youth of the Kyrgyz regions. For him, the victory is of particular importance, since the majority voted in favour of the concept of strengthening presidential power promoted by him.

Judging by the programme statements, President S. Zhaparov intends to implement numerous changes in the sphere of public administration over the next year. He is going to carry out a constitutional reform, which involves strengthening the presidential power, introducing the consultative institute of the People's Kurultai, changing the principles of forming the parliament of Kyrgyzstan. The new head of the republic also plans to implement judicial reform, reduce the number of ministries and departments, and radically update the composition of law enforcement agencies.

As to foreign policy, President S. Zhaparov emphasises that the main partner of Kyrgyzstan, as before, will be the Russian Federation. In addition, Kyrgyzstan will continue to pay special attention to the development of cooperation with the EEU and the CSTO.

It is worth mentioning that the citizens of Kyrgyzstan, who have experienced a political crisis, hold high hopes for the new president of the country. They expect the republic to emerge from a severe socio-economic crisis, improve the material security of vulnerable segments of the population, stabilise the political situation in the country and fight corruption more decisively. Taking into account these and other circumstances, the parliamentary elections to be held in mid-2021 will hold a significant role for Kyrgyz leaders.

Kyrgyzstan Zhaparov