On December 9, 2007, early parliamentary elections will be held in Kyrgyzstan. And again, as in 2000 on party lists. Then it was an experiment of the previous government, which they quickly abandoned in the elections in 2005. But, they want to repeat the experiment, because there are positive examples in Kazakhstan and Russia. The temptation is very great.
Today, the country is full of serious passions around the upcoming parliamentary elections on party lists. Party activists, deputies, civil society are studying a new Electoral Code under a magnifying glass to find the pitfalls in it. Moreover, the president is not only that the early parliamentary elections are scheduled for December 9 of this year, so on October 21, citizens of Kyrgyzstan must decide on constitutional reform and the new electoral code. President of all beat, bye.
The most scandalous comments on the new version of the Electoral Code are proposed by the leader of the public foundation “Elim wuchun, elim menmen” Amanbay Satybaev, in the recent past the leader of the party “The Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan”. According to him, in order to eradicate corruption during the election campaign, it is necessary to prohibit (!) Direct meetings of candidates, their proxies, representatives of staffs and members of organizing committees with voters. The election campaign should be carried out exclusively through the media, and the district election commissions centrally (quote from the document) distribute, paste, and hang out the campaign materials of the candidates. According to Amanbay Satybaev, all these measures will help to make the elections "freer, better, more organized, more cultured, more equal." The Central Election Commission (CEC) has probably not yet received such “original” proposals in the sixteen years of its existence.
The most discussed issues with the upcoming parliamentary elections on party lists are the sum of the election fee and the quality of the voter list. Under the new version of the Electoral Code, for the right to be elected to the national parliament, the parties will have to pay just an astronomical amount of $ 270 thousand, and about $ 5 thousand to the city parliaments of Osh and Bishkek. Officially, all these contributions go to the preparation and conduct of elections. But in the sixteen years of independence, the CEC never reported to the voters where it spent the money. According to the representatives of the Central Election Commission, they report constantly in parliament. But few people can remember the debate in parliament on this issue. Because of what part of civil society and political parties in the country in order to completely remove the election fees, replacing them with the collection of signatures. But the other side offers a compromise option, who can not pay such a sum, let them collect a certain number of signatures in their support for the upcoming elections.
Women's public organizations fighting for the political rights of women in Kyrgyzstan believe that large amounts of the election fee seriously curtailed their rights, restricting access to active participation in the political life of the country. Kyrgyzstan is the only country in the Central Asian region where there is not a single woman in the parliament. Therefore, in order to somehow stimulate the political activity of women and parties, the network of women's NGOs in the country proposes to introduce the so-called “Zebra” system, that is, the alternation of men and women in party lists. If the first candidate in the party list is a man, then the second one must (!) Be a woman, and vice versa. Such special measures to support the political rights of women, the organizers of the action consider a temporary measure that all countries go through during the transitional political period. In principle, by and large, no one in Kyrgyzstan is against the presence of women in parliament. But, those to whom this appeal was directly addressed to hold the action "Zebra" are silent for now. Not a single political party publicly supported the Zebra campaign. In response, only pessimistic comments by party activists are heard. Almaz Zhumabayev, an activist of the Social Democratic Party, believes that the party system does not guarantee a decent representation of women in parliament.
Another sensitive issue related to the upcoming parliamentary elections is the quality of the electoral lists. According to CEC experts, local authorities should be personally responsible for the quality of the voter lists that they make up. Because during the election many dead souls appear in the lists. Mostly dead souls are external and internal migrants. Neither local authorities, nor the CEC completely take into account the fact that, according to official data alone, more than 700 thousand citizens of Kyrgyzstan are working in Russia and Kazakhstan. And these dead souls appear in the lists not only because of the “bad” work of local authorities in the compilation of the list of voters. But, and because the CEC ignores the rights of Kyrgyz citizens in Russia and Kazakhstan, preventing them from taking part in the elections. In the elections in 2005, this problem resulted in a public hearing between the CEC and the office of the international organization for migration. Each side had its own data on the real number of migrants outside the country. As a result, the CEC made a “cunning” decision, announcing that migrants can vote only in two or three cities of Russia. Given the precarious legal status of migrants from Kyrgyzstan, there is, of course, few who took part in these elections. In the new conditions, this problem is further complicated by the fact that this year many citizens of Kyrgyzstan adopted Russian citizenship thanks to the new Russian law on the legal status of labor migrants. Information about 5-6 thousand citizens of Kyrgyzstan who weekly take Russian citizenship “walk” on the Internet. Only according to the Novosibirsk branch of the Office of the Federal Migration Service of Russia, 1,830 foreign citizens, most of whom are citizens of Kyrgyzstan, applied for the granting of Russian citizenship. In addition, they, as a rule, do not refuse from Kyrgyz citizenship (although we do not have the institution of dual citizenship with Russia). Nobody knows how they will be counted in the electoral lists.
And the most provocative problem is which of the parties to admit to the elections. In the new version of the Electoral Code, there are no restrictions for parties to participate in elections. The main and the only restriction so far - the party wishing to take part in the elections should be created a year before them. But among the representatives of the political parties themselves there are supporters of the introduction of at least minimal, but very significant restrictions for participation in elections. Because, frankly, everyone is afraid of a huge number of parties in the country. According to the latest data, they are ninety-eight. In 1996 there were only sixteen! Most of the parties were created after the "tulip revolution" - 26 parties. Some of them were created right during the storming of the White House on March 24, 2005, for example, Eldik Birimdik.
The supporter of the restrictions is the deputy of the current parliament, the leader of the Communist Party of Kyrgyzstan, Iskhak Masaliev. In his opinion, first, the registration qualification should be established - a year, two. Secondly, the party organization should have its offices in all regions of the country. The party "Asaba" is also for restrictions. Such as the size of the party and its representation in the regions. The head of the government, Almata Atambayev, at one of his press conferences, generally in passing, said that the struggle would still be between five major (in his opinion) political parties. These are “Asaba” (leaders of Beknazarov and Otunbayev), “Ata-Meken” (Tekebaev), “Ar-Namys” (Kulov), Social Democratic Party (Atambaev), Communist Party of Kyrgyzstan (Masaliev). Opponent of any restrictions for political parties is Muratbek Imanaliev, the leader of the justice and progress party. According to him, you can not artificially set barriers. “If we put a barrier of 5 thousand party members and representative offices in all regions, then the parties that are just beginning to appear may disappear. Let's say the party is "green." And the environmental aspect in political life will simply be excluded, ”says Imanaliev.
Zhoumart Ormonbekov, an expert at the Institute of Public Policy, believes that the requirements of a nationwide representation of a party that wants to participate in elections will only contribute to the development and consolidation of parties. And this measure will impede the formation of regional political forces, which may lead to further disengagement of Kyrgyzstan along the north-south axis.
And even taking into account the fact that there are more parties in the country than seats in the parliament, citizens of Kyrgyzstan are not in principle against elections on party lists. According to a study by the sociological company El Pikir, conducted this year by 48% of the respondents (1300 respondents in the country participated in the survey) support the elections on party lists, against 20%, and abstained - 30%. Citizens are basically ready for elections on party lists, are the parties themselves now ready for them?