The European Union takes note of the referendum for a new Constitution and of the local elections held on 11 April 2021 in the Kyrgyz Republic.
According to independent observers, the referendum on the constitution was orderly and well-administered, but there were also reports about the misuse of administrative resource and violations of campaigning procedures in favour of adopting the new constitution. It is important that the legislation implementing the new constitution follows the 19 March 2021 Joint Legal Opinion on the draft Constitution by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, as well as the Kyrgyz Republic’s international commitments. The Joint Legal Opinion had concluded that some provisions of the draft legislation threaten the necessary balance of power and the protection of individual freedoms, essential to democracy and the rule of law.
The local elections were conducted in an inclusive manner, with a competitive environment for political parties. The introduction of a 30% quota for women in local councils following these elections is a positive step towards gender balanced, inclusive representation. Independent observers did, however, highlight irregularities, in particular regarding vote buying, vote secrecy, campaigning rules. The national authorities should address these irregularities by further improving and strictly implementing the national legislation on elections, in line with international standards.
The European Union will continue to support the Kyrgyz Republic in advancing its reform agenda and addressing the challenges it faces