Election volunteers in Kyrgyzstan. Photo credit: Flickr/U.S. Department of State (public domain)

Kyrgyzstan is set to hold parliamentary elections on October 4, 2020. Local elections had been scheduled for April 2020, but were postponed due to COVID-19 and a new date has not yet been set.

Political Context

Kyrgyzstan began a halting transition to democracy following the Tulip Revolution of 2005. It remains the strongest democracy in Central Asia (although it does not have much competition in that department). Subsequently, the country switched to a parliamentary system in 2010. In an effort to curtail presidential power and authoritarian backsliding, the country instituted a one-term limit on presidential terms.

The current president, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, was elected in 2017, leading to Kyrgyzstan’s first peaceful transfer of power between two elected presidents. Jeenbekov had been backed by his predecessor, Almazbek Atambayev, but relations between the two have since soured. Atambayev staged a series of protests. The political climate remains tense.

Curated News and Analysis

Ryskeldi Satke, The Diplomat (October 1, 2019): The Chaos of Kyrgyz Politics

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