More Than A Year Later: Kyrgyzstan’s 83 Candidates

After Kyrgyzstan went through its 2nd violent uprising since 2005 overthrowing former President Bakiyev, who was long criticized for his violations of human rights, and destabilizing  the infrastructure of the country, Kyrgyzstan a year later is now facing a new election due to occur this October.

In the wake of the violent people’s revolution and political instability, 83 individuals from across the wide spectrum of personalities and classes have registered to be candidates for the October presidential election.

Only 16 of these candidates are actually in a political party.

Current Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev is among the 83 candidates along with “no-names”, some have no political backgrounds nor any backers for their campaigns while others are intellectuals or those who do have political backing.

Interim President Roza Otunbayeva who took over last year in April announced that she will not be running for this year’s election.

Many have high hopes for this year’s election primarily because this will be the first presidential election to take place under a new constitution which gives Kyrgyzstan’s parliament and the prime minister more power than the president (who is now limited to 6 years in office) and also because of the number of candidates running making the future victor unclear.

However the Central Election Committee of Kyrgyzstan will be whittling down the list of the 83 candidates to cut down the list to people who are actually serious and suited for the office of president.

Other requirements needed for a presidential candidate may also help cut down the number of candidates as there is a candidate fee of 100,000 Kyrgyz som (around 2,200 U.S. dollars), the collection of 30,000 signatures for their campaign and a language test.

Analysts say that the election will probably be played out ultimately between a candidate from the northern part of Kyrgyzstan and another candidate from the southern part as the nation’s politics have always been centered on this geopolitical aspect.

As for potential violence that could upset the election process, some say that support is too dispersed among the candidates that actual support in the form of violence is unlikely to occur. Others however are worried about the presence of radicals in mostly the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan and the remaining tension over the past ethnic violence between Kygryz and Uzbeks.

(Cover Photo: REUTERS/ Shamil Zhumatov)

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Linxy lives in Seoul, South Korea and covers most news circulating from Malaysia to the mountains of Tibet.