Tomorrow’s Elections

9 10 2010

So, tomorrow is the long-awaited parliamentary elections here in Kyrgyzstan.  I do not, of course, endorse any party or candidate, but I wanted to give you a bit of background on what we’re expecting tomorrow.

These elections were brought about as a result of the riots in April that overthrew then president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.  Subsequently, a constitutional referendum was passed this summer that restructured the government, transferring most governmental power from the president to the parliament, a move that many see as an attempt to curb corruption.  The referendum called for elections to be held this fall, and they are now upon us.

A total of twenty-nine parties are contending for seats in parliament, and the city has been awash with campaign posters on every surface.  My friend Eve has an awesome collection of pictures of the advertisements from around town.  From what I’ve gathered by talking to people, there are three parties who most people believe are the primary contenders: Ata-Meken (the main socialist party), Ata-Jurt (the party made up primarily of Bakiyev’s inner circle) and СДПК (or SDPK, the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan).  The rest of the parties will, I’m guessing, serve as coalition builders for whichever of the three big parties gains the most control.

The big reason that all of this matters right now to me is that no one really knows what’s going to happen tomorrow.  As foreigners, we’ve been advised to stay at home tomorrow and stock up on supplies just in case things go poorly.  Anytime there is a large political event, there’s the potential for violence, but I’m hoping that things stay calm.  In the meantime, think good thoughts for me and for the country of Kyrgyzstan.  I’m off to buy some bottled water and canned goods.  For real.

 

Vocabulary

 

Election: выборы (VUY-bah-ruy)

Parliament: парламент (pahr-LAH-myehnt)

Candidate: кандидат (kahn-dee-DAHT)

Corruption: коррупция (kah-ROOP-tsee-yah)

Riot: беспорядки (beh-spor-YAHD-kee)

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2 responses

9 10 2010
Angry

Be safe! I hope things go well! Thinking about you so hard! ❤ ❤ ❤

9 10 2010
kurtinkstan

Thanks, AIM! I miss you and y’all bunches!

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