Kyrgyzstan holds parliamentary elections amid rising tensions | Election News

The vote is expected to vote in favor of allies of President Sadir Gabarov, who has consolidated his grip since taking power last year.

Kyrgyzstan votes in parliamentary elections as tensions rise after allegations of plot to oust populist president Gabarov’s chest, who rose to power in the turmoil that followed the vote last year.

In the capital, Bishkek, where both Russian and Kyrgyz are spoken, there was little sign of excitement over Sunday’s vote, in which a 90-seat parliament largely loyal to Yabarov is expected to be introduced.

During its three decades of independence, the impoverished ex-Soviet Central Asian nation has become a paragon of fickleness, with three presidents ousted during street protests fueled by a combination of corruption, repression and anger over perceived electoral irregularities.

While opinion polls show Gabarov’s government still enjoys popular support, critics say the recent imprisonment of potential rivals and a constitutional reform earlier this year appear to be repeating the mistakes of his predecessors.

His cash-strapped government also faces a difficult future, with a winter energy crisis looming, living costs soaring, and the pandemic affecting trade with neighboring China.

At a Security Council meeting on Friday, Gabarov acknowledged that the country could face an energy crash “at any moment” and blamed corruption and outdated equipment in the hydropower sector for the problem.

Nuruddin Shorukov, a 35-year-old maintenance worker, told AFP he would not vote and believed the ballot would be won by “the same people who have been there for 30 years and have not brought anything into the country”.

Daniil Zmirbekov, 18, said he would vote for a party promoting reform seen as an outside bet on the parliamentary race, where 21 parties and hundreds of district candidates are competing.

But Zmirbekov worries that low turnout will benefit wealthy parties with “no vision” for the landlocked, mountainous country of 6.5 million people.

Polling stations opened at 8 am (0200 GMT) and the first results are expected shortly after counting begins at 8 pm.

Voters queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Bishkek [Vladimir Pirogov/Reuters]

A coup plot?

The latest bout of instability in Kyrgyzstan came after a parliamentary election a year ago, when losing parties took to the streets to denounce a vote they said had been rigged in favor of parties close to then-President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

The results of the vote were annulled and current leader Gabarov was released from prison during the unrest President-elect in january.

After consolidating authority with supervision Constitutional changes Who abolished one-term limits for incumbent presidents and consolidated his position at the expense of the legislature, Gabarov vowed to “show the world” that Kyrgyzstan can hold free and fair elections.

But opposition candidates complained of administrative pressure.

Electoral authorities have removed an independent populist lawmaker, Reskildy Mombikov, from the presidential race before a judge reinstated his candidacy after his supporters from his home region threatened to rally.

More seriously, the State Committee on National Security said on Friday that it was 15 people arrested Involved in what he claimed was a plot to overthrow the government involving “previous deputies and high-ranking officials”.

The statement did not say who the authorities had arrested.

President Gabarov and his wife Igul visit a polling station on Sunday [Vladimir Pirogov/Reuters]

Lyabarov has no party in the race, although many well-funded alliances are led by politicians loyal to him.

Close partner Russia will watch the outcome of the vote with interest, and has pledged support for the new government after initially criticizing the political chaos that brought Gabarov to power.

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