Residency Ban Dropped

by Nathan Hamm on 1/25/2005 · 1 comment

The Kyrgyz parliament has dropped the residency ban that kept former diplomats from running for office, a law that many believe was intended to keep a few popular opposition candidates from running from office.

Yesterday, the parliament of Kyrgyzstan amended the Election Code after some heated debates and annulled the provision that did not permit diplomats and other officials once on missions abroad to run for the parliament. In other words, lawmakers partially abolished the so called residential qualification that made seats on the parliament unavailable to whoever spent over 5 years abroad. This is precisely the excuse the Central Election Commission used to deny registration to four diplomats including ex-foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva who had spent several years as a deputy envoy of the UN general secretary in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict area.

This doesn’t mean that the Kyrgyz vote will necessarily be clean, but it will be cleaner and it does mean that the Kyrgyz government responds to protests, even small ones.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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