Kyrgyzstan election campaign to conclude

Official campaigning for Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary election will conclude today ahead of tomorrow’s vote. A March referendum that revamped electoral laws

Kyrgyzstan election campaign to conclude

Photo: Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty Images

Official campaigning for Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary election will conclude today ahead of tomorrow’s vote.

A March referendum that revamped electoral laws reduced parliament’s size from 120 seats to 90. Of those, 54 will be selected through national party lists while the remaining 36 will be elected in district races.

Tomorrow will be the first parliamentary election since October 2020, when disputed results triggered widespread protests and a presidential resignation. President Sadyr Japarov and his Mekenchil party were elected in January and criticized for their constitutional changes, which opponents claim risk returning Kyrgyzstan to authoritarianism.

Tomorrow’s elections will decide the makeup of a parliament whose powers, and those of political parties, were weakened by March’s referendum. Since Mekenchil is not standing this election, the performance of the closely associated Ata Jurt Kyrgyzstan and Ishenim parties will decide how much further Japarov consolidates power. Numerous pro-Japarov candidates means parliament will likely be pliant to presidential wishes, but their dispersal across various parties and the new electoral structure makes it difficult to predict their likely majority’s size. Expect turnout to be low, as Kyrgyz battle an energy crisis and political fatigue following a year of upheaval.

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