Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Kyrgyz Constitutional Reform

Originally posted at NewEurasia

Hoorah! President Kurmanbek Bakiev has finally announced a date for Kyrgyzstan’s new constitutional draft to be completed - August. And further good news, Azimbek Beknazarov, a man who has repeatedly denounced the Head of State’s glaring incompetence has been put in charge.

It’s glaringly obvious that Bakiyev has made these moves in an attempt to defuse tension and disquiet over his current government from the opposition. Yet several key points are now raised.

Firstly when will such reforms actually be implemented? Bakiyev has previously said 2009 - when his current term should conclude - yet this is simply too far away given the mess Kyrgyzstan finds itself in. Is the government prepared to immediately implement reform? We shall see.

Secondly how will the people of Kyrgyzstan vote? The overall popularity of Nursultan Nazarbayev in Bishkek is undeniable. Stability, strong economic growth, an emerging middle-class - will the population, hoping for a similar leader, vote for another strong-man constitution?

Finally and most importantly, will the vote be free and fair? I don’t care what anyone else says but Bakiyev and Saakashvili (in Georgia) achieved completely unrealistic majorities in their post-revolution elections. Whilst in both cases progress had been made, if this was just a mere show for the west, then the chances of the government tweaking the vote are extremely likely.

Im interested to know what form you believe Kyrgyzstan’s political system should take?

I’ll get the ball rolling:

Parliamentary system, with Proportional Representation to guarantee the emergence of ideologically driven political parties. That might go some way to kicking out some of the current corrupt criminals in the National Assembly, and draw to a close the Kyrgyz personality-driven aspect to all politics. The President should only be allowed to stand for one 6 year-term with fairly limited power (dissolving the legislature if it cannot form a government in 30 days, appointing judges, commander-in-chief of the army)

03 May 2006


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