Kyrgyzstan heads into its legislative elections on 10 October immersed in a crisis of political instability. In just two months between April and June, the country experienced the overthrow by force of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and then the violent conflict that developed in the southern provinces of Osh and Jalal-Abad. The latter event a wave of violence and destruction unleashed against the country's Uzbek community. The numbers are compelling: more than 2,000 deaths, the displacement of more than 400,000 people according to UNHCR, 100,000 of them refugees in Uzbek territory, as well as the burning and/or destruction of 2,500 homes, more than 100 shops and 10 markets and government buildings. Two weeks later, a previously scheduled referendum took place, to decide the reform of the country's constitution. Official results gave a broad victory to the "yes" vote, giving birth to, according to the new authorities, the first parliamentary republic in Central Asia. However, the new system of government is more semi-presidential than parliamentary, given that the president is elected elections for a six-year term, maintains control of the armed forces and other security institutions, can veto all laws except those relating to budgets and fiscal policy, and ultimately, may dissolve Parliament. Roza Otunbayeva, the current president will remain in office until 1 January 2011, thus postponing the presidential contest a year and a half after the fall of Bakiyev.
Download complete PDF version: