United States Mission to the OSCE: Parliamentary Elections in Kyrgyzstan

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna

The United States welcomes the peaceful conduct of the October 4 parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan. The true competitiveness of these elections was unique in Central Asia and is an achievement for which the Kyrgyz government and people can be proud.

We note the conclusion of the OSCE observers from the Parliamentary Assembly and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) that the elections “were competitive and provided voters with a wide range of choice, while the manner in which they were administered highlighted the need for better procedures and increased transparency.”

The government’s largely successful introduction of new voting technologies demonstrated its genuine commitment to improving the election process, and appears to have been successful in curtailing certain abuses of the past.

The OSCE observation mission noted concerns about the inclusiveness of the voter list, ballot secrecy, vote counting procedures and the availability of impartial information. OSCE observers also reported problems with the counting process for the manual vote count in one-third of the polling stations, as well as procedural violations in connection with results protocols. Despite concerns about irregularities, these elections are an important step forward. We encourage the Kyrgyz authorities to review the final report closely and use it as a guide to support further progress.

The United States notes the overall positive manner in which the elections were conducted and that they represent an important achievement in the consolidation of Kyrgyzstan’s democracy. We look forward to continued support of Kyrgyzstan’s democratic development in the future.

Thank you, Madam Chair.