Nearly 80 percent of those who voted in the April 11 referendum in Kyrgyzstan passed a new constitution promoted by President Sadyr Japarov, according to exam results in school. However, those results also indicate that the voter is the same 36.7 percent.
Speaking before the vote about April 9 at an event organized by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Director of RFE / RL in Kyrgyzstan, Venera Djumataeva, noted that in less than 30 years, Kyrgyzstan had 6 presidents and 34 prime ministers. “But changing the president and the prime minister is not enough,” she continued. “We in Kyrgyzstan change the constitution quite often as well.”
“Change doesn’t always mean progress,” she commented. Djumataeva says that the introduction of the parliamentary system after the 2010 revolution was a big step forward, but undercut by corruption. With the Kyrgyz parliament and government paralyzed, the problems facing Kyrgyzstan remain unresolved and apathy deepened.
Then there was defeat in October 2020: An election that was considered a fraud by the great powers – set off a new cycle of political turmoil. Among them, Sadyr Japarov, from prisoner to president.
As Georgy Mamedov wrote for openDemocracy January, just before the presidential election and the first referendum, “After the October election, Japarov skillfully manipulated people’s rage against political elites, largely concerned. to a parliament ravaged by corruption and scandal. “
In other words, Djumataeva said: “It is very easy now… to convince people that a strong man or a powerful president can fix any problems, improve their lives and bring relief. economic stability and prosperity ”.
Kyrgyz voters elected Japarov in January and now, in April, has adopted his favorite constitution. The new constitution reunited the president, downgraded parliament, and enhanced the power of vaguely worded terms such as “the public conscience of the people” in limiting possible rights.
If the turnout of voters on Sunday, out of the final total, remains above 30 percent, the referendum will be considered valid. However, as Dr. Saniia Toktogazieva, an associate professor and coordinator of the Human Rights program at the American Central Asian University in Bishkek, noted during the same Carnegie event, the whole process is unknown. legality. Toktogazieva emphasized procedural violations, which reduced the legitimacy of the entire referendum process. Pointing to the opinion given by the Venice Commission (at the request of the Kyrgyz Constitutional Court), Toktogazieva pointed out that the Kyrgyz National Assembly, through its adoption of this referendum process, had exceeded its mandate. , will expire in October 2020. The whole process, she said, is illegal.
This view has been challenged by Edil Baisalov, the Kyrgyz ambassador to the UK, who commented that previous constitutional changes have been seen through similar murky processes. The 2010 constitution, which Toktogazieva argued that Kyrgyzstan had to follow the procedure, was passed by the provisional government (in which Baisalov served) in unusual circumstances after Kurmanbek Bakiyev was overthrown.
This Toktogazieva replied: “Unfortunately, I think the argument made by Ambassador Baisalov really resembles what we know as You also, the interim government has done it, why can’t we? And that is Kyrgyzstan’s problem. Every constitutional referendum started with Akayev, then Bakiyev and the rest have been carried out with serious procedural violations. Toktogazieva said it was not that the 2010 constitution was a “holy cow”, but that the rule of law had been repeatedly trampled, every president learned through referendums on the constitution.
In his remarks, Baisalov repeated the Kyrgyz government’s arguments in favor of a constitutional change, indicating that no one disagreed on the core point that Kyrgyzstan was not satisfied with the country’s situation. “[The 2010] he said. “It was our greatest disappointment and my personal disappointment when this Kyrgyz dream of building parliamentary democracy … proved that we were not ready for it.”
Baisalov said Japarov is using his powerful mission to build a system desired by the people of Kyrgyzstan.
How strong Japarov’s mandate could be a matter of opinion, though Kyrgyz’s disappointment in their governments so far has been undeniable. Although Japarov did was elected in January by a large profit, compared to other candidates, the rate of voters to vote just below 40 percent.
Djumataeva summarized the situation just before the April 11 vote, predicting (correctly) a low turnout due to political indifference: “Many, many people are very disappointed. They feel indifferent or politically indifferent, which can lead to a record low turnout of voters.
The indifference of many and the number of votes of some ushered in Kyrgyzstan’s next political phase: the return of a strong president and high hopes that a steady hand could fix the road way of the country.
In it Kyrgyzstan’s latest survey of opinions, The International Republican Institute (IRI) found that 70% of those surveyed (February 21 through March 5) believed that Kyrgyzstan was on the right track, a leap from just 41 percent of those surveyed. who said so in August 2020. When it comes to. Regarding the problems facing Kyrgyzstan, the top answers were unemployment, corruption and high cost of living / high prices. Japarov’s job, whether someone believes it is strong or not, is to solve those problems.