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Kyrgyz Report: March 4, 2000

4 March 2000

Round table discussion was organized by leaders of the opposition parties in Bishkek on 3 March. Chairman of the Ar-Namys Party Felix Kulov, Chairman of the El (Bei-Bechara) Party Daniyar Usenov, Chairman of the Party of Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan Jypar Jeksheev, former co-chairman of the Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan Topchubek Turgunaliev, other politicians participated.

A co-ordinating group of opposition organizations was formed at the meeting and Jeksheev was elected head of the group.

Persecution of opposition candidates during the election campaign was discussed. Usenov suggested setting up a special group of lawyers to sue every governmental media organization, which slandered opposition candidates during the campaign. Usenov announced he has sued the governmental Slovo Kyrgyzstana daily and its author Danil Kyshtobaev for publishing deliberately false information against Usenov and slandering him on 17 February.

Some participants demanded to convene an urgent session of the old parliament (which is formally in power until the new parliament would be formed) and invite Chairman of the Central Election Commission Sulaiman Imanbaev to report before it.

Felix Kulov announced at the meeting of opposition leaders in Bishkek on 3 March that he would run for presidential office this year. Presidential election should be held in December. According to Kulov, results of the first round of parliamentary elections urged him to make the decision. Kulov said he does not want to live in the country being afraid of opinion of a single person or his family. According to him, there should be a parliamentary republic in Kyrgyzstan, opposite to what it is in the country now.

Kulov, 52, was vice president of Kyrgyzstan early in the 1990s and resigned in December 1993, protesting corruption in the government. After it, Kulov served as governor of the Chu province, minister of national security, mayor of Bishkek. He resigned last April, sending President Askar Akayev a letter with the words: "I cannot work further under your leadership, because with the connivance of you there are actions [in the country], which do not correspond to democracy and rule of law".

In July 1999, Kulov founded a new political party, the Ar-Namys (Dignity) Party, but the Central Election Commission (CEC) did not allowed the party to take part in the parliamentary elections, held on 20 February. The other opposition party, the Party of Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan (PDMK), co-opted Kulov in its party list and the CEC excluded the PDMK too from the elections after it. Kulov ran from the Kara-Buura (# 44) single mandate constituency of Talas Province and is expected to take part in the run-off election on 12 March.

The election commission of the Togolok-Moldo (# 5) constituency of Bishkek decided on 3 March to exclude Daniyar Usenov from the run-off elections to be held on 12 March. The session was chaired by Chokon Alamanov, chairman of the commission.

According to the commission, Isa Tokoev, contender of Usenov, had applied documents to the commission that Usenov has a house in the town of Kara-Balta in his ownership and did not mention it in his income declaration. Usenov told the commission today that he sold the house back in 1994. The commission has not made any investigation. Dozens of people picketed the building of the commission today and they want to picket the government building tomorrow.

Usenov is a chairman of the opposition El (Bei-Bechara) Party and the CEC did not allowed the party to take part in the parliamentary elections. According to the Justice Ministry, the party failed to specify in its founding documents in 1995 that it would run its members to parliament.

Accordinng to spokeswoman for the Central Election Commission Venera Orenburgina, two more candidates who overcame the first round, reject to take part in the run-offs. She says Zafar Khakimov from the Uzgen (# 32) and Alexander Shevelev from the Shopokov (# 40) constituencies have dropped their candidacies.

So, their contenders Adaham Madumarov and Temir Sariev could be found elected to parliament from Uzgen and Shopokov single mandate constituencies correspondingly. It was announced on 2 March that the two other candidates, Mukanbek Alykulov and Altai Borubaev, could become members of parliament due to the same reasons. Before it, only 3 people had been elected for 90 parliamentary seats from single mandate constituencies.

No list of candidates who will participate in the run-offs has been announced yet officially.

Candidate from the Chu (# 37) constituency Aidarbek Kerimkulov, who overcame the first round, announced in Bishkek today that he had appealed on the two recent accidents in his constituency to the Central Election Commission, the interior and security ministries, the Prosecutor General office. On 2 March somebody splashed acid into the face of Mr.Maniyazov, head of election campaign team of Kerimkulkov, on the street. Maniyazov has been hospitalized with burns. And the office of the campaign team in Tokmok was robbed during the night from 28 to 29 February. According to Kerimkulov, he is afraid there could be an attempt upon him too.

According to the governmental press service, Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev visited the Talas Province on 3 March. Newly appointed Minister of Agriculture Alexander Kostyuk and Finance Minister Sultan Mederov accompanied him. They held a meeting with local officials on preparations to spring field-works.

Opposition says the prime minister and ministers go to Talas to campaign against opposition candidate Felix Kulov.

Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs together with non-governmental organizations held in Bishkek on 3 March a meeting on problems of disabled people. It was announced at the meeting that there are 17,000 disabled people in Bishkek only and 460 new jobs should be created for them in 2000. Also, a special Jez-Oimok non-governmental organization with the help from Dutch charity organization has been set up in Bishkek.

Moscow based Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily carries in its 3 March edition an article by Sweden economist Anders Aslund. The author says that Kyrgyzstan makes economical reforms very successfully. According to him, annual gross domestic product of the de country is equal to 47 percent to the pre-independence level and it is good, because all the economical figures in the Soviet Union were exaggerated.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) announced in Bishkek on 1 March that it is not clear yet what candidates would participate in the second round of parliamentary elections, set for 12 March. According to the CEC, there have been a lot of appeals both from organizations and individuals on irregularities during the first round. The CEC has to check all the cases.

Elections for 90 parliamentary seats were held in Kyrgyzstan on 20 February, but only 3 persons won in the first round in the single mandate constituencies. Additional 15 parliamentary seats will be allotted to 5 political parties and one political bloc, which overcame the 5-percent threshold on 20 February. Party of Communists receives 5 seats in parliament.

Opposition says the CEC is delaying with results due to local authorities forge the results in the constituencies were opposition candidates won. The CEC reported before the elections that the results would be able the next day after elections, later it stated that the results would be released on 28 February.

The Central Election Commission did not allowed a group of opposition candidates to begin travelling the regions. They wanted to visit several constituencies as a team meeting their common voters. According to the CEC, nobody could campaign until the results of the first round would be released.

Felix Kulov, Daniyar Usenov, Ishenbai Kadyrbekov, Alevtina Pronenko, Adakham Madumarov, Dooronbek Sadyrbaev, Omurbek Subanaliev, Omurbek Tekebaev, Dosbol Nur Uulu, Ismail Isakov and Iskhak MasAliyev wanted to tour country together, meeting the voters who supported opposition candidates in the first round of elections.

Dilbara Moldogazieva, chairwoman of the Kara-Buura (# 44) constituency of Talas Province, held a news conference in Bishkek on 1 March. According to her, both the government and the local authorities are pressing her demanding her resignation. She says she did not allowed local authorities to make too much ballots forgery during the first round and the government understands she would continue her independent policy. According to Moldogazieva, she would resign only together with the all 15 members of her commission.

Opposition politician Felix Kulov, former vice president of Kyrgyzstan, runs from the Kara-Buura constituency and is expected overcoming the first round.

Coalition of Kyrgyz Non-Governmental Organizations released in Bishkek on 1 March a statement on the first round and recommendations to the second round of parliamentary elections. According to the Coalition, its 2050 observers presented the 1247 local poll stations on 20 February and found out 169 major irregularities. The Coalition has filed 56 appeals to courts, 45 appeals to prosecutors and 66 appeals to CEC local election commissions.

According to the Coalition, the government and local authorities should not interfere in the election process, the lists of voters should be prepared more carefully, election rights of students, disabled an imprisoned people should not be violated.

Chairman of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan Tursunbek Akunov reports from Dushanbe that he met on 29 February with Davletaly Davletov, adviser to Tajik Prsident. Security issues along the Kyrgyz-Tajik state frontier were discussed. Also, Akunov has met in Tajikistan with Vice Prime Minister Ali Akbar Turadjon Zoda, Minister Davlat Usmanov, presidential press secretary Zafarali Saidov, leader of the Islamic Party Hikmet Zoda Miuhammad Zarif, other officials. The Tajik side says they will do their best not to repeat Islamic rebel invasion into Kyrgyzstan in the spring.

President Askar Akayev is expected to visit southern regions on 3 March.

Several hundred rebels invaded of Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan last August, taking about 25 hostages. The crisis lasted about 2 months and 27 Kyrgyz citizens were killed during it. The rebels left Kyrgyzstan for Tajikistan late in October, releasing the hostages. There were four Japanese geologists among the hostages.

President Askar Akayev met in Bishkek on 1 March with a group of farmers. Problems of agriculture, farmers' organizations, private land ownership were discussed. According to the presidential press service, Akayev will meet farmers regularly. Initiator of the action is Leonid Kalashnikov, former member of Kyrgyz parliament and correspondent for the Moscow based Sel'skaya Jizn" paper.

The presidential press service announces that President Askar Akayev has signed a decree dismissing Kazybek Derkembiev from the post of head of the Naryn district of Naryn Province.

Moscow based Izvestiya daily carries in its 1 March edition an article on President Askar Akayev's som-in-law Adil Toigonbaev. According to the paper, Toigonbaev has bought for Kyrgyz a large volume of bad quality fuel for aircraft. Kyrgyz fliers do not want to use it, but at the same time, they are afraid to complain, because Toigonbaev is a Kyrgyz oligarch.

Moscow based Novaya Gazeta and Moskovskiy Komsomolets published articles criticizing Toigonbaev on 9 and 14 December 1999.

The Central Election Commission admitted at its 28 February meeting in Bishkek that there were some shortcomings during the parliamentary elections held on 20 February. According to the commission, 11,500 out of 30,000 residents of the 6 suburb housing areas around Bishkek did not cast ballots. Some of them were not registered as voters, the others could not find their names in the voting lists. Also, the polling stations were situated too far from the areas. The commission decided to eliminate such kind of shortcomings by the second round of elections to be held on 12 March.

However, commission chairman Sulaiman Imanbayev has announced that some local observers might be barred from election. According to him, there are a lot of appeals from the local election commissions that the observers of the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations had made a lot of obstacles interfering in the work of commissions. About 2,000 observers of the Coalition observed the poll around the country and they are planning to observe the second round.

Also, Imanbaev said that the Commission could decide to drop a requirement that the ballots must be signed by local election commission members. According to Imanbaev, it takes too long time and becomes an obstacle to election process.

A group of eleven opposition politicians, who overcame the first round of the parliamentary elections, announced in Bishkek today that they would visit several regions of the country as a team this and next week, meeting their common voters. They will visit first the Issyk-Kul (# 17) constituency, then the Kara-Buura (# 44), the Batken (# 24), the Bazar-Korgon (# 12), the Nooken (# 13) and other constituencies.

The group announced on 24 February that they would form a parliamentary group "The People's Deputy" if they win in the second round. Also, the group has released a statement saying that there would be much more pressure from the government to voters before and during the second round and voters should be ready for it. The statement was signed by Felix Kulov, Daniyar Usenov, Ishenbai Kadyrbekov, Alevtina Pronenko, Adakham Madumarov, Dooronbek Sadyrbaev, Omurbek Subanaliev, Omurbek Tekebaev, Dosbol Nur Uulu, Ismail Isakov and Iskhak Masaliev.

Member of the Internews monitoring group Uran Botobekov accused today President of the National TV and Radio Corporation Amanbek Karypkulov of lie. According to Botobekov, Karypkulov announced in Bishkek on 28 February that the Internews monitoring group had admitted that there were mistakes in its report covering the week 26 January to 1 February and that the group had already asked his pardon. Botobekov says it is not true and he has the video footages of the Corporation's reports.

Karypkulov said yesterday that the Corporation covered the pre-election campaign in the country fair and lawfully. According to him, opposition politician Daniyar Usenov received the longest coverage among any candidates on the Corporation air. The Internews has reported that the Corporation dedicated the major part of its political news to the government or pro-government parties and that the pro-governmental Union of Democratic Forces bloc received nearly half of its political news.

The Interior Ministry announced in Bishkek on 29 February that Akbokon Tashtanbekov, the Number Two in the party list of the Party of War Veterans, had appealed to the Ministry. According to him, party chairman and Number One in the list General Abdygul Chotbaev punched him twice in the face on 26 February, during the conference of Afghan War Veterans. A quarrel began when the two discussed how to share the 2 parliamentary seats won by the party in the parliamentary elections.

General Chotbaev despoved it during the phone conversation with RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 29 February. About 120 delegates took part in the conference last Saturday. There are about 7,300 members in the Kyrgyz Afghan War Veterans Society.

The Tyup district court of Issyk-Kul province rejected on 29 February an appeal by Chairman of the Party of Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan (PDMK) Jypar Jeksheev. Jeksheev did not overcome the first round on 20 February and had stated that his rival, Jangoroz Kanimetov, did not have the right to run for parliament form the Tyup (# 18) constituency. Kanimetov collected about 30 percent of votes and will take part in the second round on 12 March.

Jeksheev's PDMK also was barred from the elections. Actually, its party list was registered with the Central Election Commission last January, but later, the Commission revoked its own decision. According to the PDMK, it was done after the party co-opted the other opposition politician, Felix Kulov, in its party list. Jeksheev was member of the old parliament, elected in 1995.

The other opposition politician, chairman of the El (Bei-Bechara) Party Daniyar Usenov told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 29 February that he cannot meet his potential voters in the Togolok-Moldo (# 5) constituency in Bishkek. They are about 3,000 servicemen of the military units and about 2,000 patient of the 6 hospitals situated on the territory of his constituency. According to Usenov, the leadership of the units and the hospitals do not allow him to visit them. Also, Usenov says rectors of the universities and institutes, situated in the area, have also ordered not to allow Usenov to visit student hostels.

Usenov says that Chairman of the Central Election Commission Sulaiman Imanbaev told him today that an opposition politician should be ready for such kind of pressure from the government.

The presidential press service announces that President Askar Akayev received in Bishkek on 29 February Father Vladimir, Archbishop of Central Asia. Live of Christian community of Kyrgyzstan was discussed during the meeting. Akayev decorated Vladimir with Medal of Glory for his activity in getting conciliation between different religious confessions.

According to the governmental press service, Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev received in Bishkek on 29 February Indian Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Ram Svaruh Muhija. Bilateral relations between the two states were discussed. Newly appointed Kyrgyz Ambassador to India Bakyt Beshimov attended the meeting.