Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Kyrgyzstan on the way to democracy

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By H.E. Asein Isaev, Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to the Netherlands.

A small country in the middle of Central  Asia has a long and amazing  history and culture. After 70 years of representing part of huge Soviet system  Kyrgyzstan has got over different   periods of state transformation.  The revolutions and rejection of 2 authoritarian regimes left deep traces  in the history of   kyrgyz society. In 2005 and 2010 dishonored 2 Presidents had to leave the country.

In April 2010, under the conditions of dramatic political struggle, the outgoing regime used the interregional and interethnic disputes to  provoke the tragic events in the south of Kyrgyzstan. There were more than 400  people   killed. The damage for trade, for the transport and housing infrastructure in south of country estimated in hundreds of millions euros.

Conflict was stifled  in 4 days, without any  further escalation. Among the consequences of the tragic events there were  complex  socio-economic and political issues, aggravated in spring 2010. Those interethnic clashes jeopardized further democratic changes initiated by April’s revolution  in 2010. It was crucially important to ensure the process of reconstruction as well as to continue the reforms aimed to form  first parliamentary democracy in the region.

The new Constitution significantly limited President’s powers.  Parliamentary elections highly welcomed by kyrgyz society  took place in October 2010.  According to the opinion of international  observers there have been conducted really fair and democratic elections.

Despite the challenges, the country confidently  moves towards the objectives. Large-scale reform of the judicial system was initiated. In order to provide real independence of judicial system the selection principle for 445 judges was changed. Kyrgyzstan joined the Convention and the facultative protocol for torture prevention.

Openness of the society and accountability of the authorities to the people have been  already delivered their first fruits. GDP growth, slightly perceptible, but steady, fluctuates around 9%. Many spheres of the economy have come out of the shadow sector. Increased growth of investment in education and healthcare is observable.

On that historically stage  for Kyrgyzstan it is  important to  find  economic and political backing from the international community. The achievements of  the Republic have shown that democratic transformations are real, but  results still remain very fragile. It is crucial for country to  keep the positive trends. There is a huge human potential: strong and consistent civil society, traditions of freedom of speech and independent mass media, gender equality.

Next year country  is celebrating  25 years of sovereignty. Government has a  Program to strengthen peace and stability. It is evident the progress is slower than expected and the restored democracy might be threatened. However, obtained experience and comprehension of historical lessons give reliance for transformations’ sustainability. We hope that our development partners will help to carry out the mission until the end and to maintain the absolute rule of law and justice in Kyrgyzstan.

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