In-depth Business Intelligence
of US $
is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)
Books on Kyrgyzstan
Update No: 323 - (26/11/07)
The revolution continues
The 'revolution' carries on, insofar as no one can any more dictate the
political course of events. The situation is still volatile in Kyrgystan. After
months of wrangling between government and opposition, it is agreed that there
should be new elections to parliament in December.
But there is now huge controversy over what form they should take.
Concern is being raised in Kyrgyzstan over a requirement that political parties
must pass a certain threshold in each of the country's seven regions in order to
win parliamentary seats in elections. Kyrgyzstan's first parliamentary elections
based on party lists are set for December 16 after a new constitution and laws
were passed in an October referendum.
These are the first parliamentary elections since President Askar Akaev was
ousted in the so-called Tulip Revolution in March 2005.
The new dispensation
The Central Election Commission has ruled that according to the new election
law, parties must get at least 13,500 votes, or 0.5 percent of the overall total
of registered voters nationwide, in each of the country's seven provinces and
two biggest cities, Bishkek and Osh - a rule meant to prevent purely regional
parties with no other qualification from making it into the national parliament.
Very hard for Kyrgyzstan's clan-based politics to come to terms with.
This requirement is in addition to the 5 % of the votes parties must receive
nationwide in order to gain representation in parliament. Speaking on November
19, Central Election Commission Chairwoman Klara Kabilova said the "0.5
percent" requirement is needed to "consolidate and strengthen the role
of political parties."
But in a joint address to President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, a group of 11 opposition
parties have urged him to abolish the regional election threshold, saying it's
against the constitution and regional interests. "We appeal [to the
president] as the guarantor of the constitution to cancel the illegal decision
by the Central Election Commission," Kubatbek Baibolov, a member of the
opposition Atameken (Fatherland) party, told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service. "If
he does not take any decision by November 21, then we have decided to meet again
tomorrow evening in order to consider further actions. The actions might be of
any kind. There could be a boycott of [parliamentary elections]. There could be
Meanwhile, the Civil Committee for Voter Rights Protection called the
requirement a "serious obstacle" for parties to enter parliament. The
committee was set up on November 14 by several nongovernmental organizations to
protect voters' rights.
In a November 20 statement, the group said there was a "real danger"
that the requirement may lead to "new conflicts among the population."
It said the requirement prevented citizens from having equal access to the
process of making governmental decisions and running the country.
A total of 22 parties have applied for registration to participate in the vote.
Campaigning is officially due to start on November 26.
Bakiyev in Japan
The Kyrgyz president has proposed himself as a forward-looking statesman, ahead
of the elections, by visiting Japan.
He and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda signed a joint statement on friendly
relations, partnership and cooperation between the two countries in Tokyo on
An official of the Kyrgyz Embassy in Tokyo told Itar-Tass the sides expressed
readiness to "cooperate in all fields, including in the trade and economic
fields." Bakiyev and Fukuda said they supported Japan's assistance to the
development of Kyrgyzstan. They also praised Japan's contribution to promoting
market reforms and democracy in Kyrgyzstan.
Bakiyev began his three-day visit to Japan on November 14 on the occasion of the
15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two
countries. During the visit, the Kyrgyz president is expected to be received by
the imperial family, speaker of the lower house of Japan's parliament Yohei Kono
and other officials. On Friday, Bakiyev will take part in an investment seminar
with the participation of businessmen.
According to Itar-Tass reports, Japanese businessmen abstain from investments in
Kyrgyzstan. At the same time, Japan and the United States rank first and second
(in rotation) by providing assistance to Kyrgyzstan. Totally, Japan has provided
over 400 million U.S. dollar low-percent credits, subsidies and technical
In 2006 trade turnover between the two countries reached 1.265 billion yen
(about 11.5 million U.S. dollars). Japan imports aluminium, non-ferrous metals
and exports cars and auto-tyre casings.