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2020 Kyrgyz parliamentary election

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Template:Infobox legislative election

Parliamentary elections were held in Kyrgyzstan on 4 October 2020.[1] The results showed that pro-government parties had won a supermajority of seats. The election was subsequently annulled by the Central Election Commission during the 2020 Kyrgyzstan protests.[2]

Background[edit source | edit]

Due to party infighting between supporters of current President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and former President Almazbek Atambayev, the governing Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan did not contest the election, and new parties split off and ran in their stead: the pro-Jeenbekov Unity, and the pro-Atambayev Social Democrats of Kyrgyzstan. Ata-Zhurt, which had previously split with the Respublika Party, partnered up with My Homeland Kyrgyzstan and both parties ran under the latter's name. The Ata Meken Socialist Party entered into a coalition called "New Breath" with the Liberal Democratic Party, New Breath Youth Association, and the Association "Green Alliance of Kyrgyzstan".[3]

The election took place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Electoral system[edit source | edit]

The 120 seats in the Supreme Council are elected by proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency. To win seats, parties must pass a national electoral threshold of 7% of the votes cast,[4] and receive at least 0.7% of the vote in each of the seven regions.[5] No one party is allowed to hold more than 65 seats.[6] Party lists are required to have at least 30% of the candidates from each gender, and every fourth candidate had to be of a different gender. Each list is also required to have at least 15% of the candidates being from ethnic minorities and 15% of under 35 years old, as well as at least two candidates with disabilities.[6][7]

Conduct[edit source | edit]

Several opposition parties called on the government to postpone the election due to the COVID-19 pandemic prior to the campaign period in September.[citation needed]

During the elections, several parties were accused of buying votes.[8] Several journalists also reported that they had been harassed or attacked.[9] The costs associated with filing to run for the elections and campaigning were also criticized, with critics saying it was impossible for smaller parties without ties to an oligarch to afford.[10]

Preliminary results[edit source | edit]

Unity received a plurality of votes, just beating out the Ata-Zhurt–My Homeland Kyrgyzstan alliance by under one percent, and received 46 seats. Ata-Zhurt–My Homeland Kyrgyzstan received 45 seats, while other parties lagged behind. The Kyrgyzstan Party received 16 seats, while United Kyrgyzstan entered parliament for the first time with 13. Several other parties failed to meet the 7% threshold, including Ata Meken, which had been a part of every parliament since the 2010 Kyrgyz Revolution.

Out of the parties that made it into parliament, only United Kyrgyzstan consistently opposes the incumbent government led by President Jeenbekov.[11]

Template:Election results

Aftermath[edit source | edit]

The Ata Meken Socialist Party and the Social Democrats both disputed the results, and staged a brief protest in Bishkek. One other party also disputed the result.[12] Around 4,000 people also staged a protest in Bishkek when the results were announced, with smaller protests held in two other cities. Around 16 people were injured as police attempted to disperse the crowds. A total of 12 parties also signed a document urging the government to annul the elections as a result of irregularities and hold new ones.[13] One group protesting in Bishkek managed to free ex-President Atambayev from jail on either 5 or 6 October, where he had been serving an 11 year and two month sentence for a corruption since June. Protestors also occupied the building housing the parliament and presidential administration.[14] There were also reports that part of the parliament building was set ablaze. Protests continued throughout the day, eventually resulting in the death of one person and around 590 people being injured.[10] A further few hundred were injured on the following day as well as protests continued.

Following continued protests, the results were annulled by the Central Election Commission one day later.[2] Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov and parliament speaker Dastan Jumabekov also tendered their resignation on 6 October. The parliament announced opposition figure Sadyr Zhaparov of the nationalist Patriotic party as acting Prime Minister, and Myktybek Abdyldayev as the new speaker of parliament. Zhaparov had been serving an 11 year and six month prison sentence for taking a government official hostage in 2013 until his appointment. The mayors of Bishkek and Osh, as well as the governors of the Naryn, Talas, and Issyk-Kul regions also resigned. A group of 13 opposition parties said that they had formed the Coordinating Council of Popular Trust which would assume responsibility for formulating ideas to find a way out of the deadlock.[10] It is unclear when new elections will be held.

References[edit source | edit]

  1. Kyrgyzstan sets date of parliamentary elections Xinhua, 21 October 2019
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  5. Kyrgyz Republic: Election for Jorgorku Keneshg (Kyrgyz Supreme Council) IFES
  6. 6.0 6.1 Electoral system IPU
  7. THE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW On Presidential and Jogorku Kenesh Elections in the Kyrgyz Republic
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Template:Kyrgyz elections