Kyrgyzstan: Ata Zhurt Narrowly Wins Election

The Kyrgyzstan Central Election Commission has announced the results of elections in the central Asian country. The parties who have cleared the 5% of the vote needed to enter government are as follows:

  • Ata Zhurt, 8.47% of vote – 28 seats
  • Social Democrats, 7.83% of vote – 26 seats
  • Ar-Namys, 7.57% of vote – 25 seats
  • Respublika, 6.93% of vote – 23 seats
  • Ata-Meken, 5.49% of vote – 18 seats

Ata Zhurt will need to form a coalition in order to govern. Ban Ki Moon congratulated Kyrgyzstan and encouraged the swift formation of a coalition to “ensure peace, stability, and prosperity”.

Kyrgyzstan hosts a large US air base called the Manas Transit Center. Its proximity to Afghanistan makes it a strategically important base for the current tenants. However, its proximity to Russia and China also makes it a hot political issue.

In 2009 the Kygyz Parliament voted to close Manas Air Base down after the US and Kyrgyzstan could not agree on a higher rent. They finally settled on a a tripled rent of US $60 million. An aid package of US $2bn was agreed with Russia before the continuation of the Manas Air Base was announced.

Less than a year later, ethnic tensions between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz reached fever pitch leading to the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. An interim government was formed and elections held on 10th October 2010. It remains to be seen whether the new government will manage to balance relations with Russia and the US more effectively.

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