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Majlis Podcast: Stakes Are High In Kyrgyzstan Ahead Of Crucial Vote


The latest votes are taking place after disputed parliamentary elections on October 4 sparked unrest in Bishkek that brought down the government. (file photo)

Voters in Kyrgyzstan are heading back to the polling stations on January 10 as the country will hold both a presidential election and a referendum deciding the form of government: presidential or parliamentary.

Kyrgyzstan just had parliamentary elections on October 4 and the official results, which showed two of the 16 parties that competed winning the overwhelming majority of seats, sparked unrest in Bishkek that brought down the government.

It has been a confusing situation in Kyrgyzstan since then, and now the country's voters are being asked to cast ballots in hastily arranged polls at a time when many continue to publicly question the legitimacy of the decision-making process behind the presidential election and the referendum, as well as the legality of conducting these polls.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager for South and Central Asia, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion that looks at the presidential campaign and preparations for the referendum on the constitution.

This week’s guests were: speaking from Kyrgyzstan, Gulnura Toralieva, a political analyst who was also a candidate for the Bir Bol party in the October elections; also from Kyrgyzstan, Kasiet Ysmanova, communications manager at the Bishkek-based social research group Central Asia Barometer; Bakyt Beshimov, a former deputy in Kyrgyzstan's parliament and also a Kyrgyz ex-ambassador to the Organization for Security and Development in Europe (OSCE), who is currently a professor at Northeastern University in Boston; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Majlis Podcast: Stakes Are High In Kyrgyzstan Ahead Of Crucial Vote
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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 some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

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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