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Majlis Podcast: Kyrgyzstan Prepares To Conduct Parliamentary Elections, Again


A banner that reads "No to selling votes and paying bribes for votes" in Kyrgyzstan.

On November 28, voters in Kyrgyzstan return to the polling stations to cast ballots in a rerun of last year’s parliamentary elections.

Even during the campaign, those October 4, 2020, parliamentary elections were so riddled with violations that shortly after the results were announced, with pro-government parties predictably winning the vast majority of seats, unrest broke out in the capital, Bishkek, and by the morning of October 6 the government had been ousted.

Events after that took a series of twists and turns that included the election of a new president and a vote on changing the constitution in January 2021, followed by a national referendum on changes to the constitution and local elections in April.

Now, the country will finally vote for new parliamentary deputies and replace a parliament that has already served for more than one year since its mandate expired.

The structure and powers of parliament have changed, and the system of voting is different, with these upcoming elections featuring candidates competing in single-mandate districts, and on party lists.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on the November 28 elections, what has changed in the structure and role of parliament, in the way people will vote, and how many people can be expected to turn out and cast ballots for the fourth time in less than 14 months.

This week's guests are: from Bishkek, Aijan Sharshenova, a research fellow at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek; Medet Tiulegenov, a professor at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Kyrgyzstan Prepares To Conduct Parliamentary Elections Again
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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