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Kyrgyz Supreme Court Chamber To Look Into Appeal Challenging Delay Of Parliamentary Vote

The headquarters of the Kyrgyz Supreme Court's Constitutional Chamber in Bishkek
The headquarters of the Kyrgyz Supreme Court's Constitutional Chamber in Bishkek

BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Supreme Court's Constitutional Chamber has said it will look into an appeal filed by the opposition Reforma (Reform) party and two citizens challenging a law that canceled a Central Election Commission (BShK) decision to rerun parliamentary elections on December 20.

Last week, the court refused to hear a similar appeal filed by the BShK over a technical issue concerning the payment of a fee.

The appeals come following weeks of political upheaval over disputed elections that toppled the Central Asian nation's government and prompted the resignation of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Prime Minister and acting President Sadyr Japarov
Prime Minister and acting President Sadyr Japarov

The chaos was prompted by allegations of vote-buying and other improprieties in an October 4 parliamentary elections.

Mass protests over the vote tally, which gave victory mainly to parties aligned with Jeenbekov's government, prompted the BShK to annul the results and schedule fresh elections for December 20.

However, on October 22, acting President Sadyr Japarov signed amendments to the law on elections to delay a new vote until some time in 2021. That most likely means the parliamentary elections will come after a January 10 presidential vote.

Japarov, a former nationalist lawmaker who was jailed on charges of kidnapping a political rival in 2017, was freed from prison in the midst of the demonstrations and approved on October 14 by parliament as prime minister.

He also took over the powers of the presidency when Jeenbekov vacated the post in mid-October and is set to serve as acting president until the January election.

Kyrgyzstan’s constitution forbids a person serving in an acting or interim capacity from taking part in a presidential election, so Japarov announced on October 25 that he will step down before the end of the year to gain eligibility for the January 10 vote.

As of November 2, five other politicians had informed the BShK of their intentions to take part in the presidential election as candidates. They include the leader of the opposition Butun (United) Kyrgyzstan party, Adakhan Madumarov; the leader of the El Uchun (For the People) party, Arstanbek Abdyldaev; the former leader of the Egemen (Sovereign) Kyrgyzstan party, Bektur Asanov; historian Kuban Choroev; and opposition activist Nazarbek Nyshanov.