Kyrgyzstan Parliament Takes Shape As Dark Clouds Loom

Fecha de publicación: 
16 Oct 2015

Kyrgyzstan’s election commission has published definitive results from the October 4 vote, which has handed the leading Social Democratic Party (SDPK) 38 out of the 120 seats on offer.


The figures released on October 15 show that runner-up Respublika-Ata Jurt has won 28 seats. Other parties with deputies in parliament are Kyrgyzstan, on 18, Onuugu-Progress, on 13, Bir Bol, on 12, and in final place Ata-Meken with 11 seats.


Hard negotiating now lies ahead before parties can form a majority coalition, but with the economy in the state that it’s in, there may be strong competition for staying out of the fray.


Even as back-room talks are going on, some surprising personalities have either left or been booted out of their party lists, meaning they will miss out on a place in parliament.


One such prominent figure was Djoomart Otorbayev, who resigned as prime minister in April and ran in fifth place on the Ata-Meken party list. The speculation is that Otorbayev may have fallen on his sword after failing to boost the party’s performance in the Kemin district in northern Kyrgyzstan, where he had been expected to rally support.


Otorbayev had been thought to be a potential shot for the presidential election in 2017, but his prospects look to have been weakened.


Every elected party lost people from its list for one reason or another, but nobody came even close to Respublika-Ata Jurt for its enthusiasm on that front. A staggering 70 candidates from the party’s list have been excluded, making way for more obscure members.


A statement by President Almazbek Atambayev, who was formerly leader of the SDPK, was read out to the outgoing parliament during its last sitting in the current formation on October 15.


It was a mixed assessment.


“There were arguments and difference in the Zhogorku Kenesh (parliament), some hasty decisions were taken, but on the whole the Zhogorku Kenesh has fulfilled its historic mission,” Atambayev said in the statement.


Some of the achievements cited by Atambayev included energy independence, strengthening of the border and improvements to the armed forces. Critics of the government might take issue with the factual basis of any of those boasts.


The coming parliament is going to have its work cut out, given the economic troubles that lie ahead. The budget cuts it will be asked to approve could be a recipe for unpopularity.


Finance Minister Almazbek Azimov said on October 15 that the budget deficit for this year is projected to reach 25.3 billion som ($369 million at the current rate). And that figure will grow in 2016 to reach 27.4 billion som, equivalent to 5.5 percent of gross domestic product. That is well above the 3 percent annual deficit permitted by the Eurasian Economic Union, which Kyrgyzstan joined over the summer.


Earlier in the year, the government declared it was estimating 2 percent economic growth for 2015, a staggering revision down from the previous 6.2 percent projection. The Finance Ministry at the time attributed the downgrade to a slowdown in the growth of agriculture, construction and services and industrial output.


Azimov assured reporters that the budget cuts that are to come will not affect social spending, and will instead target investment on transport and energy infrastructure.

But even that makes a grim note for the incoming parliament class of 2015 to begin its term.

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