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Deadline for Kyrgyz presidential candidates to submit pledge


Deadline for Kyrgyz presidential candidates to submit pledge

Kyrgyz presidential
Photo: Vladimir Voronin/ AP

Today marks the deadline for candidates to gather signatures and submit pledges for Kyrgyzstan’s upcoming presidential election.

Set to occur on January 10, 2021, this election will follow the October 4 elections, which ignited protests and claims of government fraud, culminating in a declared state of emergency a week later. The electoral results were officially annulled by the Central Election Commission on October 6, and President Sooronbay Jeenbekov subsequently resigned the following week. The replacement snap parliamentary elections have been postponed until June 2021 at the latest to allow for a referendum on constitutional reforms. Supported by leading presidential candidate Sadyr Japarov, this proposal would establish a “People’s Kurultai”—an executive council responsible for recruiting members of the public to propose government policy. The constitutional draft would also reduce the size of parliament, expand presidential term limits and shift power from the prime minister to the president.

Expect Sadyr Japarov to win the upcoming January election. The former interim president resigned on October 14 to formally run for office and, following his release from political imprisonment, is beloved by supporters as a populist martyr. Japarov’s victory will likely lead to expanded executive authority while weakening already fragile Kyrgyz democratic norms.

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