Monday, November 1, 2010

Official Election Results Finally Announced in Kyrgyzstan

By Erica Marat

Kyrgyzstan’s Central Elections Commission (CEC) has announced the October 10 parliamentary election results following three weeks of deliberation. As expected, five parties were proclaimed winners – Ata-Jurt, Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), Ar-Namys, Respublika, and Ata-Meken.

Although the winners are now officially recognized, it remains unclear how the parties will form parliamentary coalitions. Rumor in Bishkek has it that SDPK, Respublika and Ata-Meken will form a bloc, leaving Ata-Jurt and Ar-Namys as the minority. This type of coalition is widely supported in Bishkek.

However, voters from southern Kyrgyzstan would prefer for either Ata-Jurt or Ar-Namys to prevail in parliament – both parties received strong support in Osh and Jalalabad. Ethnic Kyrgyz overwhelmingly supported Ata-Jurt, while ethnic Uzbek voters hoped Ar-Namys would represent their interests in the parliament. In effect, Respublika got a trump card and is, therefore, able to decide on its own partners. The party’s leader, Ombek Babanov, is likely to demand the position of prime minister in return for building a coalition with competitors.

Several political parties that were not able to overcome the 5-percent threshold, including Butun Kyrgyzstan Party, refused to recognize official results. Butun Kyrgyzstan leader Adakhan Modumarov has announced that he will not give up and demands that his party is included in the parliament. Butun Kyrgyzstan originally passed the required 5-percent threshold, however, because the voters’ lists were extended on election Day, the threshold rose by a few thousand and the party failed to meet the new threshold. Madumarov has been holding rallies in Osh and Bishkek for weeks now.

According to CEC Chair Akylbek Sariyev, if requested by the court, election results will be recounted. However, it is unlikely that the CEC will be officially requested to recount the votes.

According to the CEC, 120 parliamentary mandates will be distributed in the following way:

• Ata-Jurt - 28 mandates
• SDPK – 26 mandates
• Ar-Namys – 25 mandates
• Respublika – 23 mandates
• Ata-Meken – 18 mandates
• Another 3 seats will be distributed proportionally between parties.

Although Butun Kyrgyzstan will now become the loudest political voice outside the parliament, the country’s most powerful parties are represented in the parliament. Many in Kyrgyzstan hope that the winners will now resolve their differences and abstain from street-riot politics. Leader of the Ar-Namys party Felix Kulov and the Ata-Jurt leader, Kamchybek Tashiyev, however, previously warned that they would hold mass riots in Bishkek should CEC not consider their reports of irregularities during the October 10 vote.

Both politicians have since dropped their plans to stage riots, showing agreement with CEC’s conclusions.

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