ELECTIONS WITHOUT CHOICE…

The past presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan had every chance to remain in history, like a vote that will bring the line under the epoch of instability and signify the first full-fledged, peaceful transit of power in the republic. From the acting president to the end of his term, he is legally elected head of state. These elections will remain in history. But in a completely different way. As the most ambiguous in the annals of the entire region.

The question of the legitimacy of the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan was acute already at the height of the election campaign. Throughout the republic, the facts of illegal agitation were documented. In connection with what the members of the movement «For Fair Elections», consisting of politicians, state and public figures, repeatedly appealed to the president of Kyrgyzstan, the chairman of the CEC and the prime minister with a request to take action. But no one has ever taken steps.

Which is not surprising. The highest Kyrgyz officials themselves have been repeatedly seen lobbying for the interests of a particular candidate. And most often quite certain. President Almazbek Atambayev, considering his post, obliging to remain as impartial as possible to all candidates, openly supported the candidate from his Social Democratic Party, former Prime Minister Sooranbai Jeenbekov. Which, of course, is a gross violation of the electoral legislation. Following the president, agitators also signed up to maintain equal treatment of candidates by government members and religious leaders.

And apparently also under the strict supervision of the still acting head of the republic, the local authorities of Kyrgyzstan also became an instrument of agitation. At the session of the Zhogorku Kenesh several times alarming reports were voiced that in some regions, banners with political slogans are being removed on the orders of the authorities, they have broken meetings with voters and closed the staffs of candidates disliked by the same authorities, apparently by chance – the main rivals of the above-mentioned Sooranbay Zheenbekov. The fact that such actions were a personal initiative of the leaders of these regions, and not an indication given to them from above, is, of course, believed weakly.

Another scandalous moment of these elections was the detention of the deputy of the Zhogorku Kenesh on suspicion of preparing a coup d’état. The detained Kanat Isayev is the closest associate of the Republic Party leader Omurbek Babanov, the main rival of the pro-government S.Zhenenbekov. Another coincidence that does not seem random, right? Charges to him were put forward without presenting any more or less coherent evidence. And what interestingly put forward at the time of the electoral campaign, when the ratings of Zheenbekov, according to the results of opinion polls, began to fall precipitously and hopelessly.

In addition to all these facts, there were hundreds of others, including, mass mailing of messages with inaccurate information about the withdrawal of candidates from the race, or the unification of political forces. There were threats of candidates against each other, harassment of journalists who tried to sort out all this election bacchanalia and bring infringers to clean water, and massive embroilments of compromising materials. The media did not hesitate to publish clearly subjective, and often even false, materials about the contenders for the presidency. Particularly zealous public television and radio channels. It happened, too, obviously, not without the participation of official authorities. Logical in this context, the culmination of this process was the refusal of one of the delegations of observers to participate in the elections.

But, as it turned out later, all this was just a warm-up before the main action. The voting process was unprecedented in terms of the number of violations. Emissions of ballots, banned on election day, agitation and voting on other people’s documents. What is called a complete set. A local resident was detained in one of the plots, who tried to throw 20 ballots into the ballot box at once, on the other – the same was done by a member of the commission. He had 56 ballots. And these are only those cases that we managed to fix. And imagine how many more things were there that went unnoticed.

Given all this, the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan, objectively, can not be recognized as legitimate. It seems that it is the duty of the international community to demand, as a minimum, their revision, as much as possible, of a re-holding, under completely different conditions, under the close supervision of international observers, with the removal of the administrative resources of the current leadership of the republic from leverage.

After all, we all remember well that Kyrgyzstan has been too long and painful to become a truly democratic country, so that in such a momentary will or even the whims of individuals, once again plunge into lawlessness and chaos.

 

 

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