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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07BISHKEK1342
2007-11-02 13:02:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Bishkek
Cable title:  

KYRGYZ PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS SET FOR DECEMBER 16

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  KG 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 001342 

SIPDIS

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DEPT FOR SCA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KG
SUBJECT: KYRGYZ PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS SET FOR DECEMBER 16

REF: A. BISHKEK 1304

B. BISHKEK 1296

BISHKEK 00001342 001.2 OF 002




1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Kyrgyzstan will hold parliamentary
elections December 16. Under the new constitution, the
parliament will consist of 90 seats elected on a proportional
basis by party list. The new electoral code establishes
thresholds of 5% of all eligible voters as well as 0.5% of
voters in each of the seven oblasts, in Bishkek, and in Osh
in order to obtain seats in the parliament. Fifty parties
have registered their intention to run, but this number is
likely to decrease as additional documentation and the
$14,000 deposit come due and smaller parties continue to
merge their interests. Septel will cover the parties with a
realistic chance of getting into the new parliament. The
official campaign period begins November 26, and partisan
campaigning is prohibited until then. An October 27 concert
to "celebrate" the new constitution, sponsored by the city of
Bishkek, turned into a de facto rally for President Bakiyev's
new Ak Jol party. END SUMMARY.

December 16 Election by Party List


--------------------------





2. (SBU) On October 21, Kyrgyz voters approved a new
constitution and electoral code in a nationwide referendum
marred by blatant ballot stuffing and inflated voter turnout
figures. (Ref A) On October 22, President Bakiyev dissolved
the parliament, which consisted of 75 seats elected from
single-member constituencies. On October 23 Bakiyev signed a
decree setting the new parliamentary elections for December


16. Under the new constitution, the parliament will expand
to 90 members, all elected on a proportional basis by
political party list. The new electoral code establishes
high thresholds for a party to obtain seats in the
parliament. A party must get 5% of the total number of
registered voters (not 5% of votes cast), and 0.5% of
registered voters in each of the seven oblasts, in Bishkek,
and in Osh, in order to enter parliament.

Fifty Parties Register . . .


--------------------------





3. (U) The October 23 election decree gave parties until
October 26 to register their participation in the election
with the Central Election Commission (CEC). For the first
day and a half the CEC wasn't prepared to start the process;
however, the CEC accepted registrations from 50 parties by
the deadline. The CEC also registered 92 media outlets to
cover the election: 62 newspapers, 16 television stations, 6
radio stations, 6 information agencies, and 2 advertising
agencies.

. . . But Some Will Drop Out


--------------------------





4. (SBU) According to the calendar of pre-election
activities, November 18 is the deadline for parties to submit
their lists and other relevant documents. Significantly,
November 18 is also the deadline for parties to pay a 500,000
som (over $14,000) deposit. This deposit will likely prove a
high barrier for many of the smaller parties, causing some to
drop out by that point. Also, several parties are still in
discussion over possible mergers.

The Rest of the Election Calendar


--------------------------





5. (U) Candidates on the lists must be registered
individually with the CEC by November 25. The official
campaign period begins on November 26, and parties are
required to refrain from partisan political activity until
the campaign period. On November 30, the parties will draw

BISHKEK 00001342 002.2 OF 002


lots for free print media space and airtime for campaigning.
The accreditation period for international observers runs
from November 23 to December 12.

Early Start to Campaign?


--------------------------





6. (SBU) On October 27, new (acting) Mayor Daniyar Usenov and
the city of Bishkek sponsored a concert in Ala-Too Square to
"celebrate" the referendum and new constitution. The concert
included pop stars from Russia. The concert quickly turned
into a de facto rally for President Bakiyev's new Ak Jol
party, with "Ak Jol" banners, laser lights projecting "Ak
Jol" across buildings, and Bakiyev and Usenov on stage
wearing Ak Jol scarves. Officials later claimed that this
was not a campaign rally with government resources, as it was
the "Ak Jol Movement," not the "party," that sponsored the
concert. On October 31, the CEC issued a notice reminding
parties that the campaign period begins November 26.
YOVANOVITCH