WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following briefing:
KYRGYZSTAN: PROSPECTS FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE
AND THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Senate Visitors Center (SVC)
Live Webcast: www.facebook.com/HelsinkiCommission
The Kyrgyz people will go to the polls in October in a pivotal election that will determine the country’s next president and the next chapter in its fragile democracy.
In contrast to some other leaders in the region who have manipulated term limits to remain in power, current President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev is abiding by his constitutional term limit. However, the vote takes place amid mounting concerns of democratic backsliding, particularly regarding the government’s treatment of political opposition, civil society, and human rights defenders. Additionally, the election marks only the second peaceful transition of power through elections following two revolutions – in 2005 and in 2010. This turbulent history serves as a reminder of the importance of building the popular legitimacy of Kyrgyzstan’s political institutions.
The briefing will examine the political dynamics surrounding the vote, the conduct of the election campaign thus far, and broader human rights issues in Kyrgyzstan.
The following experts are scheduled to participate:
- Marc Behrendt, Director for Europe and Eurasia Programs, Freedom House
- Anthony Bowyer, Caucasus and Central Asia Senior Program Manager, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
- Dr. Erica Marat, Associate Professor, College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University