Kyrgyz Reforms & Election Update

by Nathan Hamm on 5/12/2005

Jenishbek Nazaraliyev has brought a lawsuit against President Bakiyev.

A candidate for president of Kyrgyzstan, professor Jenishbek Nazaraliyev announced his intention to bring an action against Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. He said his rival has caused irreplaceable moral damage, and demanded to exact $50 million from Bakiyev in his favor.

The reasons were utterances of the acting president at interview of the “Vecherniy Bishkek” Newspaper, telling: “unfortunately, there are some forces possessing means. Those are drug barons, criminals, who strive for power”.

Jenishbek Nazaraliyev supposes that such an expression is a logic continuation of opinion of the ex-president Askar Akayev

I’m sure the lawsuit will go nowhere, and I have a feeling that the presidential campaign of the man who claims to have brought down Akayev will similarly go nowhere.

It sounds like there is some pressure to hold a referendum on political reforms alongside the upcoming presidential election.

The head of “Interbilim” said simultaneous conduction of the presidential elections and common national referendum is favorable for all sides. It enables to spare financial resources and time for political reforms. In the referendum, the people must show their will regarding state political system of the Kyrgyz Republic, balance of authorities between the power branches, independence of courts, structure of the parliament, and presidential terms, what must determine the main directions of the constitutional reforms, she said.

Vecherniy Bishkek discusses some of the potential reforms that the constitutional council is considering. Some issues the council is debating include whether or not to limit presidents to one term and whether or not it is better to meticulously word the constitution or to just lay out the principles of the document.

RFE/RL’s Newsline says that Ar-Namys (Kulov’s party) is warning that administrative resources are being mobilized in the south to oppose Kulov’s campaign.

Bodosh Mamyrova, a member of the Ar-Namys political council, told Kabar on 11 May that local authorities in southern Kyrgyzstan are employing “administrative resources” against Kulov. Mamyrova charged, for example, that university officials in Osh are exerting pressure to collect signatures in support of specific candidates. Mamyrova also alleged that some officials in the south are insinuating that a candidate from the north — Kulov is a northerner, as was ousted President Askar Akaev — should not be allowed to gain the presidency. “They explain their actions by saying that a northerner ruled the country for 15 years, and now it’s time for southerners to take power,” Mamyrova said. “By doing this, they’re dividing the people.” (Dan Kimmage)

It would be reassuring if Bakiyev were to put these officials on notice.

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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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