B E N E D I C T ( V I K T O R ) G O M B O C ZPolitics of Kyrgyzstan
Geography of Kyrgyzstan Location: Central Asia, between Kazakhstanand Tajikistan Area: Total: 199,951 sq km Country comparison to the world: 87 Land: 191,801 sq km Water: 8,150 sq km Area – comparative: Slightly smaller thanSouth Dakota Land boundaries: Total: 3,051 km Border countries: China 858 km, Kazakhstan 1,224km, Tajikistan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,099 km Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Religion in Kyrgyzstan The Constitution and the law offer freedom of religion in Kyrgyzstan,and the Government, in practice, usually valued this liberty. In contrast, the Government limited the activities of extremist Islamicgroups that they saw as dangers to stability and safety, obstructing orprohibiting the registration of some Christian churches. The Constitution offers separation of church and state, forbiddingbigotry on the basis of religion or religious views. Whereas the Government did not formally endorse any specificreligion, a 6 May 2006 ruling acknowledged Islam and RussianOrthodoxy as traditional religious groups. There was no alteration in the standing of respect for religious libertyin the period addressed by this report; the Government still observedand limited Islamist groups that it saw as dangers to safety. Some Christian groups still endured hindrances in registration. The State Agency for Religious Affairs (SARA), previously known asthe State Commission on Religious Affairs (SCRA), is liable foradvancing religious acceptance, defending freedom of conscience, andsupervising laws on religion. All religious groups, such as schools, need to request approval ofregistration from the SARA. Though most religious groups and factions functioned with littleintervention from the Government or each other, there were someinstances of public mistreatment on the basis of religious views andcustoms. An increase in tensions between Muslims and ex-Muslims whoconverted to other religious faiths was seen; in one such instance, acrowd offended by a Baptist pastor’s conversion of Muslims toChristianity openly beat him and destroyed his bibles and religioustext.
Religion statistics Muslim 75% Russian Orthodox 20% Other 5%
Kyrgyzstans political system: Introduction Kyrgyzstan’s politics function in the structure of a parliamentary representative democraticrepublic; the President serves as head of state, and the PM of Kyrgyzstan serves as head ofgovernment. The government exercises executive power; legislative power is vested in both the governmentand parliament.
Kyrgyzstans political system: Government Capital (and largest city): Bishkek Official languages: Kyrgyz (state),Russian (official) Demonym: Kyrgyz, Kyrgyzstani Government: Unitary parliamentaryrepublic President: Almazbek Atambayev Prime Minister: Zhantoro Satybaldiyev Legislature: Supreme Council
Main office holdersElection of the Presidentand the Prime Minister Office: President Name: Almazbek Atambayev Party: Social Democratic Party ofKyrgyzstan Since: 1 December 2011 Office: Prime Minister Name: Zhantoro Satybaldiyev Party: None Since: 5 September 2012 The president is elected through popularvote to a five-year term; the PM is chosenby the parliament.Kyrgyzstans political system: Executive branch
Kyrgyzstans political system: Legislative branch During the Soviet period, Kyrgyzstan (then the Kirghiz SSR)had a unicameral legislature, replaced in 1995 by the bicameralSupreme Council (Жогорку Кеңеш; Joghorku Keneš). The Supreme Council was made up of the Assembly of People’sRepresentatives (45 seats; its members were elected throughpopular vote from single member constituencies) and theLegislative Assembly (60 seats; 45 members were electedthough popular vote from single-member constituencies, while15 members were from national party lists on a proportionalbasis with a 5% threshold). Every legislative term was five years. In 2005, as part of the 2005 election procedure and in line witha 2003 referendum, the Parliament again became unicameral;the Legislative Assembly (Жогорку Кеңеш; Myizam ChygaruuJyiyny) comprised 75 members, elected to five-year terms fromsingle-seat constituencies. Conversely, due to the political turmoil, a new constitutionalreferendum was held on 21 October 2007 which authorized anew electoral structure, expanding the parliament to 90members and introducing party-list voting, a proportionalrepresentation structure of voting in which nominees arechosen from central party lists, as opposed to being locallyelected. Early parliamentary elections occurred on 16 December 2007.
Kyrgyzstans political system: Political parties representedin the Supreme Council Ata-Zhurt (28) Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (26) Ar-Namys (25) Respublika Party of Kyrgyzstan (23) Ata Meken Socialist Party (18)
Kyrgyzstans political system: Political pressure groups andleaders Council of Free Trade Unions Kyrgyz Committee on Human Rights – Ramazan Dyryldayev National Unity Democratic Movement Union of Entrepreneurs Central Asian Free Market Institute
Kyrgyzstans political system: Judicial branch Whereas the constitution offers an independent judiciary,the court structure of Kyrgyzstan is broadly viewed asbeing under the prosecutor’s office’s influence. Low wages make the corruption of judges usual. Most cases start in local courts; they can move by meansof the appeals procedure to municipal or regional courts,with the Supreme Court as the last court of appeals. Property and family law quarrels and low-level criminalcases are heard by traditional elders’ courts, looselymanaged by the prosecutor’s office; financial quarrels andmilitary cases are heard in specialized courts. The 2003 constitutional reforms extended the range ofthe Supreme Court in civil, criminal, and administrativeproceedings. Numerous protections of Western jurisprudence are notseen in Kyrgyzstans structure, with numerous elementsof the Soviet structure still active. The freedom to counsel and the presumption of theaccused are promised by law, even though they arefrequently not practiced; trial by jury is nonexistent. Reform legislation under deliberation in 2006 wouldcreate a jury structure and strengthen the judicialbranch’s independence. Prosecutor General Nurlan Tursunkulov
Kyrgyzstans political system: Administrative divisions Kyrgyzstan is split into seven provinces(plural: oblastlar, singular: oblasty) andone city* (shaar): Batken Oblasty (Batken) Bishkek Shaary* Chuy Oblasty (Bishkek) Jalal-Abad Oblasty (Jalal-Abad) Naryn Oblasty (Naryn) Osh Oblasty (Osh) Talas Oblasty (Talas) Ysyk-Kol Oblasty (Karakol) note: administrative center names inparentheses
Almazbek Atambayev Born in Arashan on 17 September 1956. 4th and current President of Kyrgyzstan since 1December 2011. Previously served as PM of Kyrgyzstan from 14November 2011-1 December 2011; also served asPM from 29 March 2007-28 November 2007and from 17 December 2010-23 September 2011. Was also Chairman of the Social DemocraticParty of Kyrgyzstan from 30 July 1999-23September 2011. Earned his degree in economics while he studiedat the Moscow Institute of Management. Has four children from his marriage to his firstwife, Buazhar (two sons, Seyit and Seytek, andtwo daughters, Diana and Dinara. Married his second wife, Raisa, (an ethnic Tatar,born in the Urals in Russia, who moved to Osh asa child, with her parents; she is a doctor byprofession) in 1988; they have two children: ason, Khadyrbek, and a daughter: Aliya.
Zhantoro Satybaldiyev Born in Osh on 6 March 1956. Current PM of Kyrgyzstan since 5September 2012. Was elected as PM by the Parliament ofKyrgyzstan on 5 September 2012 by a 111-2 margin. His election followed the fall of theprevious PM Omurbek Babanov’scoalition in August, after accusations ofcorruption and a sharp reduction in 5%GDP between January and July 2012. Commonly viewed as a technocrat; waselected to restore order and bring backsavings and assurance to Kyrgyzstan.