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Representative of Kyrgyzstan to OSCE asks to respect choice of sovereign state

Regular meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council was held in Vienna, at which the Permanent Representative of Kyrgyzstan to the OSCE, Ambassador Bakyt Dzhusupov made a speech.

According to him, the Kyrgyz Republic welcomes the statements of partners on the constitutional reform carried out in the country.

The diplomat said that the Kyrgyz Republic has carefully studied the joint conclusion of the OSCE / ODIHR and the Venice Commission on the draft Constitution. He reminded that early presidential elections and a referendum on the form of government were held in the republic on January 10. At least 84 percent of citizens voted supported switch to the presidential form of government.

«Elected in the free and fair elections, widely recognized as such by the international community, including the OSCE / ODIHR, President Sadyr Japarov is pursuing a political course in full accordance with the democratic will of the people and relying on his strong mandate, confirmed by 79 percent of the votes. We draw attention to the statement of the Venice Commission dated June 2010, which in turn refers to the warning in the 2007 conclusion. I quote: «Since the party system is very poorly developed, there is a risk that the constitutional reform will contribute to creation of a rather artificial system in which parties will be established from above. They can be controlled by the interests of business, as well as by the interests of the executive branch, while not being based on the specific political experience of the population. Moreover, there is no room for independent candidates.» The happened is exactly what the experts of the Venice Commission warned us about. Under the guise of pseudo-democratic slogans of parliamentarism, due to the basic underdevelopment of political parties and other institutions of civil society, the power in the country was cut off from the will of the people. This is what caused the events in Kyrgyzstan in October 2020,» Bakyt Dzhusupov stressed.

He noted that «a small group of people tried to come to power, having occupied the absolute majority of mandates» in the last parliamentary elections. Today, the Kyrgyz Republic, as the Ambassador emphasized, is making constitutional changes, relying on the will of the people who are generally not satisfied with the current situation.

«The issues of constitutional reform have been on the agenda and in the center of political discussion in recent years. An active civil society and our free press, of which we are rightfully proud, have always been an important part of this whole process. No one can argue that Kyrgyzstan has achieved real freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and that the right and opportunity for political participation is ensured. These sacred rights and freedoms won by the people of the Kyrgyz Republic are a matter of national pride,» he said.

An open, nationwide and broad discussion of this particular draft Constitution has taken place since November last year, including with the participation of civil society. Therefore, the criticism of the Venice experts regarding absence of discussions «with participation of all relevant stakeholders» is especially unfair.

Bakyt Dzhusupov

He added that Kyrgyzstan is invariably following the path of democratic construction and strengthening of its state. «This process is long and difficult, often our hopes were darkened by disappointments — we have gone through many trials along the way. We have been and remain committed to the ideas of democracy, all the basic principles and ideals laid down, among other things, in the basic documents of the OSCE, and we appeal to the international community and our friends and partners to treat with understanding and respect the search for the right path of the people of the republic and with an appeal to support our aspirations to the establishment of true democracy. We are ready for constructive cooperation with all partners,» the diplomat concluded.

On March 11, the Parliament adopted a draft law on holding a referendum on the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic in the second and third readings.

At least 94 MPs voted for it, 6 against — 100 deputies were registered. Journalists counted how many parliamentary members were actually present during the voting — there were 83 people in the hall.

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE / ODIHR) published a joint opinion on the draft of the new Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic. They criticized the proposed version. The provisions of the draft of the new Basic Law threaten the necessary balance of the branches of government, experts said. Some of its norms also threaten protection of personal freedoms that are essential to democracy and the rule of law.

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