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Presidential elections. Only through KOICA

South Korea allocated $ 15.25 million to Kyrgyzstan for implementation of the project on introduction of the national electronic identity cards system.

The project is implemented by Korea International Cooperation Agency — KOICA, which provides $ 7.46 million in grants. This money is intended directly for the production of three million passports till the end of 2017…

Why is such a rush?

During signing of the agreement between the State Registration Service (SRS) and KOICA it became known: the project is aimed at using electronic biometric ID cards in the upcoming presidential elections. New documents should also significantly reduce bureaucracy in obtaining public services and improve management, administrative efficiency and transparency.

«This stage provides for the creation of a state system for the production, registration and control of national identity cards (ID cards) with a built-in chip with the owner’s biometric identification data," the SRS said.

However, its deputy chairman, Dastan Dogoyev, told 24.kg news agency that the switch to new biometric passports is not connected with the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan. According to him, regardless of the type of document — ID card or passport, a citizen must be included in the voter list to take part in the nation-wide voting.

We are aware of the risks of the passport system. Taking into account the automation, we will work on eliminating the shortcomings. There are problems and they should not be hidden from the public.

Dastan Dogoyev

However, the officials do not say that KOICA can unilaterally terminate the agreement.

Hidden pitfalls

The document states that the project aims at creating a system of electronic national identity cards to improve the efficiency and competency of public services for Kyrgyz citizens. The donor has clearly defined the task: to support the holding of the presidential elections in 2017.

In other words, the project was created specifically to prepare for the main political event of 2017, despite the fact that SRS officials are trying to convince the public of the opposite.

Items of the document are also interesting. So, KOICA will select a supplier and sign an agreement with him, and SRS will be responsible for the consequences…

SRS delegates to KOICA the authority to select a supplier to provide electronic national ID card forms and to enter into a separate contract with the selected supplier. All the duties and obligations that may occur in relation to the contract concluded between the SRS and the supplier will be assigned to SRS.

Moreover, the parties are not entitled to file a claim or to go to court if the project implementation deadline is not met. Recall, SRS is no longer sure that it will be able to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

And it also stipulates that KOICA can cancel this grant aid project or change the objectives or its components if it does not meet the implementation deadline.

Close to the edge

SRS hurries to switch to electronic ID cards. The package of documents is in Parliament for approval. SRS promises to start issuing new passports already in April. And it’s no wonder that the department is in such a hurry: the conditions prescribed in the agreement are very strict.

Officials understand that it is impossible to issue 3 million passports in such a short time. Consequently, Kyrgyzstan risks not to fulfill the terms.

Dastan Dogoyev told that the signed agreement does not require ratification in the Parliament. Experts think differently. According to the current procedural norms established by the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, at first there should be an order and approval for the note of the Korean side. And only after this — the procedure of signing between the parties.

Under the terms of cooperation and the signed protocol, SRS has obligations to finance the general project, which entails mandatory ratification of the document in accordance with Article 11 of the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic «On International Treaties of the Kyrgyz Republic

KOICA will no longer allocate a cent, and all additional costs will be covered by Kyrgyzstan.

The State Registration Service missed out these points and openly stated that there would be no ratification. That is, will it violate the law?

Should we wait for another scandal in the passport sphere? After all, as it turned out, there is no single population database. Every year, law enforcement agencies of this or that country report that they have detected or detained citizens with forged Kyrgyz passports. But SRS is stubbornly insisting that fake Kyrgyz passports do not exist. But they regularly come up. The deadline for issuing new documents to Kyrgyz citizens is extremely short: until September 2017…

Having such a rush in issuing new ID cards by the presidential elections, it is possible to make the required number of them. And you already have the necessary number of «voters» for some candidate.