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Kyrgyzstan's Acting President Signs Amendments To Election Law

The law signed by acting President Sadyr Japarov was approved by Kyrgyz lawmakers last month.
The law signed by acting President Sadyr Japarov was approved by Kyrgyz lawmakers last month.

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's acting President Sadyr Japarov has signed amendments changing the law on elections that lower the threshold for political parties to enter parliament from 7 percent to 3 percent, while also reducing the registration fee for candidates from 5 million soms ($62,000) to 1 million soms.

The law, signed by Japarov on November 11, was approved by lawmakers on October 22.

Japarov initiated amendments to the constitution to change the rules for elections last month after he became prime minister in the midst of protests against the official results of parliamentary elections.

The demonstrations prompted authorities to cancel the results of the poll and caused a political crisis that led to the resignation of the government and President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

After Jeenbekov left office in mid-October amid the protests, Japarov, who had been released from prison where he was serving a sentence for kidnapping a political rival, was handed presidential powers. He had already been approved by lawmakers as prime minister.

Japarov then signed legal changes that postponed fresh parliamentary elections tentatively set for December 20 to an unspecified date in 2021, despite a requirement that such a vote come within two months.

That move cleared the way for early presidential elections on January 10.

Under current Kyrgyz law, anyone serving in an acting or interim capacity as president may not then run in an election for the post.

But Japarov has argued that he will become eligible by stepping down in December.

As of November 11, 15 other people had officially informed the Central Election Commission (BShK) of their intention to run for president.

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