Preliminary conclusion The "Alternativa" Center under the Human Rights Movement Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan within the framework of monitoring and evaluating the preparation and conduct of the parliОкт 05.2020
5 October 2020
The "Alternativa" Center under the Human Rights Movement Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan within the framework of monitoring and evaluating the preparation and conduct of the parliamentary elections on 4 October 2020 via the Hotline 0990 180300, 0990 180900, 0220 573847 during the elections
Monitoring methodology: legal advice provided to citizens on their electoral rights before the elections, on the elections day, and during the post-election period.
Electoral corruption: some political parties took advantage of the plight of the electorate and engaged in open and large-scale electoral bribery. The post-pandemic situation has shown the scale of poverty and hopelessness of many families in the country. There are novostroikas (new settlements) around Bishkek – new buildings, where mostly internal migrants live, who, as well as people living in risk zones in the regions of the country, turned out to be on the verge of survival. As a result, people took everything that some political parties offered. Unfortunately, almost no one conducted large-scale civic education programs for voters, taking into account the risks of the pandemic and the new challenges associated with the parliamentary elections on 4 October 2020. Key institutions designed to fight bribery reacted poorly, often did not react at all.
Anonymous reports were received during the election process regarding the use of administrative resources, which was another main violation. The information about this was reported during the survey, as well as in the media. However, the applicants refused to speak openly about these facts.
Voters' distrust of political parties participating in parliamentary elections. Voters were skeptical about the election, the majority did not trust the candidates and therefore wanted to vote AGAINST ALL OF THEM.
The widespread use of form No. 2 led to long queues, bribery, non-compliance with sanitary standards, conveyance (transporting voters to poll venues), discontent of voters, etc. Also, the Ombudsman of the Kyrgyz Republic addressed the Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of the KR with a recommendation to conduct a prompt thorough check of the facts of mass registration of citizens with the Polling Site Commissions (PSCs) according to the form No. 2. The basis for this address was the appeal of 12 parties participating in the elections to the CEC of the KR.
Violation of the secrecy of voting by the voters themselves, mass photographing of ballots, indicate that electoral bribery was quite high in these parliamentary elections.
Inaction of law enforcement agencies. They did not take any measures to ensure the safety of journalists and observers during the elections.
Thus, on 4 October 2020 parliamentary elections were held. Numerous violations such as bribery, transporting voters, use of administrative resources, inaction of law enforcement agencies, restriction of the work of journalists and their intimidation, involvement of criminal groups indicate that the elections were held illegally, and many parties will be dissatisfied with the results of the elections.
16 political parties participated in the elections. The participating parties fulfilled all the requirements of the electoral legislation. Although in the international commitments, i.e. in the Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension (1990), the States declared that "the will of the people freely and fairly expressed through periodic and genuine elections, is the basis of the authority and legitimacy of all government", the attempts to fulfill the obligations in the KR remained merely on paper.
CONCLUSIONS AND RISKS
Due to the fact that the socio-economic situation of ordinary citizens has greatly deteriorated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, political parties have taken advantage of this circumstance for the large-scale electoral bribery
1. Unlike the parliamentary elections in 2015, these elections were marked by patterns of violations, such as bribing ordinary voters, applying pressure on government officials, teachers and doctors, the use of criminal groups and other persons associated with electoral processes, obstruction of journalists' efforts to cover the elections (individual cases), the use of dirty PR technologies that discredit the honor and dignity of opponents.
2. Law enforcement agencies did nothing to prevent such violations as electoral bribery. Only when voters or journalists started demanding their rights to be protected, they started to react.
3. Failure to meet the requirements of sanitary and hygienic standards at some PSCs during elections can lead to a sharp increase in the growth of coronavirus disease.
4. The main conclusion is that whereas the voting procedure was carried out in accordance with the law on the premises of the PSCs, the electoral bribery outside the PSCs does not lend itself to a realistic assessment. The appearance of legitimacy is in place, despite the fact that everyone understands the certain scale of violation of the law and its impact on the final election results.
The Kyrgyz Republic, as a member of the UN, OSCE and other international organizations, recognizes that elections should be universal, equal, fair, secret, free, transparent and accountable. According to the content and meaning of these principles, in order to recognize elections as democratic, the state must create and ensure equal conditions for all political forces (political parties) to exercise their electoral rights.
Unfortunately, we acknowledge that these conditions were not met during the last elections and the elections were held on a non-competitive and unequal basis. Thus, according to the Constitutional Law on Elections of the President and Deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, all expenses of political parties for the election campaign should be spent from the election fund.
According to official data received from the CEC of the KR, three out of four parties that passed the 7% threshold, which is a requirement to enter Parliament, spent disproportionately more funds (2 to 10 times) than the parties that did not pass this threshold (https://shailoo.gov.kg/ru/news/3697/). This is according to official data.
However, as the public observed, the “winning” parties also used financial and other resources provided by other sources besides the election fund. Thus, for example, the funds that were spent on transportation (and other related expenses) of voters who voted at the new electoral address (according to the form No. 2), from towns to the capital Bishkek, from the regions to Bishkek, etc. were not taken into account. And there were up to half a million such voters. Furthermore, it is impossible to calculate the money that the parties have presumably spent on electoral bribery.
All of the above are direct violations of the electoral law. It is the basis for, at least, cancellation of registration and removal of the relevant political party from the election race, as well as criminal prosecution.
However, the state, first of all, represented by law enforcement agencies, whose competence and responsibility include detecting and suppressing the facts of electoral bribery (by paying or distributing money, handing over material values, providing charitable assistance) and violation of the procedure for financing the election campaign (spending in order to achieve a certain result in elections, bypassing the relevant election fund), did not take appropriate effective legal measures designed to ensure real political competition and equality of participants in the election campaign.
The election of the "right" people was made not by citizens at the polling stations, but in the government offices. There were certain plans for the distribution of those responsible locally for the formation of government bodies, that is, there were facts of electoral corruption, when officials in power regulated elections in advance, prior to the Election Day.
In these circumstances, we recognize the elections as not corresponding to the Constitution, the Constitutional Law on Elections of the President and Deputies of the JK of the KR, international commitments made by the Kyrgyz Republic and, consequently, as undemocratic, illegal and illegitimate. We also call for urgent measures to ensure public safety due to possible growth of a new wave of coronavirus in Kyrgyzstan and spontaneous conflicts at the local level.
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