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Kyrgyz Election Commission Rejects Lustration Referendum

Abdymomun Mamaraimov
Abdymomun Mamaraimov
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Central Election Commission (BSK) has ruled out the holding of a nationwide referendum on whether to implement a lustration law, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

BSK member Abdymomun Mamaraimov told RFE/RL that the idea was rejected because no documents in support of such a referendum with the signatures of Kyrgyz citizens has ever been submitted to the commission.

The issue was included on the BSK agenda after numerous NGOs, political movements, and individual politicians called for a referendum on such a law.

Three draft laws on lustration have been prepared for the BSK to review: one by presidential adviser Topchubek Turgunaliev; the second by Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party member Omurbek Abdrakhmanov; and the third by the Lustration movement.

The idea of holding a nationwide referendum on lustration first arose after former President Kurmanbek Bakiev was ousted by popular antigovernment protest actions on April 7.

Supporters of the idea insist that the law is needed to determine whether and to what degree some current officials were associated with Bakiev and members of his family.

Bakiev, who currently lives in Belarus at President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's invitation, and some of his relatives and former associates are wanted in Kyrgyzstan for corruption, financial crimes, and giving the command to open fire on unarmed protesters in April, when at least 86 people died and hundreds of others were wounded.

Read more in Kyrgyz here