At the invitation of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda of the Kyrgyz Republic (hereinafter referred to as the CEC), the Observer Mission from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (hereinafter referred to as the Mission) monitored the preparation and holding of the elections to the 7th Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) of the Kyrgyz Republic, which took place on 28 November 2021.
The Mission views the invitation of international observers as a confirmation of Kyrgyzstan's determination to ensure maximum openness, transparency and democracy during the parliamentary election.
1. Mission participants
The Mission included 19 accredited observers representing academic, legislative and electoral agencies, diplomatic missions of the SCO member states, as well as officials from the SCO Secretariat.
Deputy Secretary-General of the SCO Yerik Ashimov led the mission.
Representatives of the SCO member states:
1. Gulnar Abisheva, Deputy Chair of the Territorial Election Commission, Almaly District, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan;
2. Yevgeny Mamykin, Department Head, Engineering and Technical Centre of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a republican state enterprise;
3. Xue Guanxin, First Secretary, Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan;
4. Tariq Ali, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Pakistan in the Kyrgyz Republic;
5. Nikolai Semisotov, Member of the Federation Council Committee on House Rules and Parliamentary Governance;
6. Alexei Chepa, First Deputy Chairman, State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs;
7. Alexander Kurdyumov, Member of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;
8. Yuliana Petrenko, Chief Consultant, Directorate for Liaison with Political Parties and International Cooperation, Office of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation;
9. Salimi Nosirjon Yusufzoda, Member of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda of the Republic of Tajikistan;
10. Yusufbek Shodmonbekov, Member of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda of the Republic of Tajikistan;
11. Shukhrat Sirozhiddinov, Rector, Alisher Navoiy Tashkent State University of Uzbek Language and Literature;
12. Ikhtiyar Khadzhiyev, Department Head, Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Representatives of the SCO Secretariat:
13. Grigory Logvinov, SCO Deputy Secretary-General;
14. Minara Rakhanova, Adviser (Mission Coordinator from the SCO in Bishkek);
15. Sherzod Soatov, Expert, first category (SCO Mission Coordinator in Bishkek);
16. Daniar Chirkeyev, Referent (SCO Mission Secretary);
17. Rishabh Deo, Referent;
18. Umid Kuranov, Referent.
2. The Mission's activities
The Mission performed its functions in line with the Regulation on the Observer Mission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for Presidential and/or Parliamentary Elections and Referenda, observing the principles of political neutrality, objectivity and non-interference in the internal affairs of states and in strict conformity with the national legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic.
In October 2021, the SCO Secretariat started forming the Mission and conducting an in-depth analysis of the election legislation and practices in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Mission operated in keeping with the Programme of the SCO Observer Mission Monitoring the Preparations for and the Election of the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Mission met with the leadership of the CEC of Kyrgyzstan, chairpersons, secretaries and members of city, region and district election commissions, voters, local observers, the media and the members of observer missions from international organisations.
The Mission's conclusions are based on personal observations conducted by the Mission staff and factual material collected during the preparations for the election and on the election day itself.
3. Legislative framework for the election and the referendum
The Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Constitutional Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on Elections of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic form the basis of the legislative framework of the Kyrgyz Republic.
4. Candidates for the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic
The CEC has registered 21 political parties for the election of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic: Butun (United) Kyrgyzstan, Ata Meken Socialist Party, Ishenim (Trust), Yntymak (Harmony), Uluttar Birimdigi (One Nation), Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) Kyrgyzstan, Yyman Nuru (Ray/Light of Faith), Alliance, El Umutu (People's Hope) Party, Azattyk (Liberty) Democratic Party, Uluu-Jurt, Mekenchil El (Patriotic) Democratic Party, Kyrgyzstan Patriotic Party of the Unity, Social Democrats, Party of People's Dignity — Aruuzat, Ordo (Centre), Liberal Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan Bagyt, Party of Greens, Political Party Legalise, Kuchtuu (Strong) Region, and Jashasyn (Long Live) Kyrgyzstan.
These parties nominated 1,004 candidates, plus 282 candidates were nominated in single-member districts according to the majority voting system.
Under local legislation, the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic has 90 members, including 54 deputies elected by proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency and 36 deputies elected in single-member districts according to the majority voting system.
5. Election campaign
Election campaigning began on the last day of the registration of candidates (29 October 2021) and ended 24 hours before the election day (ie. at 8 a.m. on 27 November 2021).
The political parties had equal conditions for their campaigning (via the media, public events held with due regard for social distancing and sanitary requirements, the publication and circulation of election materials and in other ways approved in the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic). In addition to this, the authorities broadcast explanatory television programmes about the rules of election campaigning.
6. Use of modern information and digital technologies
The information systems and services of the CEC of the Kyrgyz Republic were used during the election.
Voters were identified by their biometric data using electronic ballot boxes. The polling stations were equipped with the required number of automated control systems and special equipment (booths, monitors, boxes) for visual control by observers.
The Kyrgyz Republic CEC website (shailoo.gov.kg) comprehensively covered the activities of the CEC, as well as provided complete information on the progress of the election.
The state web portal Tizme (tizme.gov.kg) posted voter lists by polling station, district, city and the republic as a whole.
The Unified Voter Registration System provided guarantees for the rights of citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic to participate in the election.
The Register of Complaints and Requests on the CEC website provided information on all requests and complaints received during the elections and the results of their review by election commissions and courts, with attached scanned copies of the requests and complaints, the decisions made, and the judicial acts issued.
A web portal was developed where the polling station number could be found by sending a text from a mobile phone; citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic could also follow the progress of the election campaign on social media and mobile apps.
7. Sanitary and epidemiological safety during voting
The Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, together with the CEC, developed an Algorithm of Action to ensure sanitary and epidemiological safety and protection of people's health from COVID-19 during the preparation and holding of the election and referendum in the Kyrgyz Republic on 28 November 2021.
In accordance with this algorithm applied amid the coronavirus infection, the participants of the election process by and large complied with the sanitary and epidemiological safety rules.
8. Conditions for the disabled voters
Conditions and access for the equal and free exercise of constitutional rights of people with disabilities were created throughout the Kyrgyz Republic.
To ensure the provision of the necessary information to disabled voters, the CEC supplied all election districts and public organisations with information booklets, posters and other materials. Video (with sign language interpretation) and audio materials for people with disabilities were published on the CEC website.
9. Preparatory work before the election to the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic
Since the signing of the Presidential Executive Order On the Election of Deputies to the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic on 29 August 2021, the CEC has been operating in accordance with the schedule for main organisational and practical events necessary to prepare and hold the election to the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Working groups were established to consider complaints and requests; to provide information to voters and other electoral subjects; for prompt response; for control and auditing measures; to ensure the election rights of citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic temporarily residing or visiting abroad; to improve the exercise of election rights of the disabled citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic; to improve the relevant software; to compile a list of voters for the single nationwide constituency and single-member districts; to establish electoral districts; to accept and examine the election documents submitted by candidates and political parties.
Training was organised for all participants in the election process.
Following a proposal by the Foreign Ministry of the Kyrgyz Republic, 59 election polling stations were established at the republic's diplomatic offices in 29 countries. A list of foreign voters with their addresses and contact information was posted on the CEC's official website.
Mobile Groups were established jointly by the CEC and the ministries of foreign affairs and digital development of Kyrgyzstan in order to raise public awareness regarding the parliamentary election.
The checklists of candidates to the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic were put up at all the 2,494 polling stations (2,435 stations throughout the country and 59 abroad) and posted on the state web portal Tizme https://tizme.gov.kg/.
10. Election day
In order to gain a comprehensive view of the election process throughout Kyrgyzstan, the Mission staff monitored the process in Bishkek and other cities and towns in Kyrgyzstan, as well as in the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in the People's Republic of China.
The mission staff attended the preparation of the polling station for opening, including the sealing of electronic ballot boxes. The voting process lasted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The vote counting began immediately after polling ended.
The Mission staff visited over 120 polling stations altogether.
They personally selected polling stations for observation and did not report any obstacles to visiting any of the polling stations.
The district election commissions had the required amount of documents, information and reference materials, observer registers, collected instructions, duty rosters, evacuation charts and other documents.
The Mission staff did not receive any complaints or comments during the voting.
11. Main conclusions
The Mission notes that the election of deputies to the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic were held in an atmosphere of openness and transparency. Civil society representatives took an active part in the elections.
The Mission did not record any violations of the national election legislation that would put the legitimacy of the election in question.
The Mission declares the election to have been transparent, verifiable and democratic.
The Mission points out that the election held on 28 November 2021 was a major step in the further development of democracy in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Mission congratulates the people of Kyrgyzstan with the successful holding of the election and wishes them new successes on the path towards stronger independence and sovereignty and sustainable socio-economic development.
The Observer Mission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
29 November 2021, Bishkek