2021 Kyrgyz referendum

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2021 Kyrgyz constitutional referendum
10 January 2021


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Results by county

A referendum is scheduled to be held in Kyrgyzstan on 10 January 2021 alongside presidential elections.

Background[edit source | edit]

On 10 October 2020, Acting President Sadyr Japarov at the extraordinary meeting at the state residence with the MP's called for reform in the Kyrgyz Constitution in which he proposed that there would not be a head of government but instead a system of Kurultai. He also suggested the idea of reducing the numbers of MP's.[1] On 19 October, Japarov announced his possible election bid to serve full-term if the country would amend its Constitution to allow it.[2] In an interview to Al Jazeera, Japarov explained his vision of a new Constitution which would be without a parliamentary system. He empathized the need for a country to return to a single-mandate voting system and make the Kurultai the most important functioning state body where the President and PM would report to and be dismissed in case of poor performance. Japarov claimed that Kyrgyzstan switched to parliamentary form of government too early due to the mentality of the country's citizens and mentioned that it would be possible to have parliamentary governance again only in the next 25 to 30 years.[3] On 22 October, the Supreme Council voted to delay a rerun of the parliamentary elections and instead await for new constitutional reform that was promoted by Japarov.[4]

Japarov received criticism and accusations of attempting to seize power and establish an authoritarian regime[5] similar to Turkmenistan. He dismissed these claims during a rally in Osh where he told residents that "all the proposals on the reforms will be openly discussed with the people. In 10-15 days, we expect to finish defining the proposals and then give them to the Constitutional Council that is to be established.... All interested citizens and representatives of nongovernmental organizations will be allowed to join the Constitutional Council, and its sessions will be aired live on television. The proposals will be offered for public discussions and the final decision on them will be made via a referendum."[6]

On 17 November 2020, the draft of the new Constitution was made public with the date of the referendum being on 10 January 2021, the same day as the presidential elections would be held.[5][7][8]

The content of the referendum was eventually brought down to a question on the nature of the political system, with voters asked to vote for the existent parliamentary system, a change toward a presidential system, or neither.[9]

Referendum[edit source | edit]

  1. Dzyubenko, Olga (2020-10-10). "Kyrgyz president strengthens hold on power as new PM named". Reuters (in French). Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  2. Reuters Staff (2020-10-19). "Kyrgyzstan acting president seeks constitution change to run for full term". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  3. Баймуратова, Камила (2020-10-20). "Говорить, что я пришел к власти через запугивание и угрозы — неправильно. Пересказываем интервью Садыра Жапарова телеканалу Al Jazeera". KLOOP.KG - Новости Кыргызстана (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  4. Dzyubenko, Olga (2020-10-22). "Kyrgyzstan delays election for reform, helping Japarov". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Kyrgyzstan: Bad Faith Efforts to Overhaul Constitution". Human Rights Watch. 2020-11-21. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  6. "Acting Kyrgyz President Says Constitutional Council Will Be Established To Implement Reforms". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2020-11-03. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  7. PODOLSKAYA, Darya (2020-11-18). "Date of referendum on amending the Constitution of Kyrgyzstan announced". 24.kg. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  8. Putz, Catherine (2020-11-20). "What's in Kyrgyzstan's Proposed 'Khanstitution'?". The Diplomat. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  9. Referendum on form of government scheduled for January 10, 2021

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