Bishkek, 2021, November 29.
The Public Foundation "Common Cause" expresses concern about the allegations of electoral fraud and calls on all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of all incidents that have arisen, and all interested parties in the elections to provide evidence and file formal complaints about the violations they witnessed. The Foundation expects that all violations will be investigated as soon as possible in order to protect the integrity of the electoral process and the will of the people.
Foundation observers monitored the election process on election day at 300 polling stations across the country, including polling stations preparing for the opening, voting, closing and counting processes. Foundation observers are not aware of the system that the CEC uses to aggregate voting results and cannot observe or evaluate this process. The Foundation calls for the cross check of the manual vote count for each polling station in accordance with the law and made available to all electoral participants and the general public.
The Foundation's preliminary statement, based on an assessment of data from the election day process in a representative sample of polling stations across the country, is that the process proceeded in accordance with the law and procedures in general, most polling stations across the country, with various violations reported. some of which are repeated from election to election. At 30% of the stations there were failures of the automated control system, at 7.3% there were equipment failures for identification. Serious problems were recorded in about 6% of polling stations, where a combination of various electoral irregularities was observed. Public observers of the Common Cause PF reported 60 incidents on the election day.
The foundation will continue its work in the coming days to verify the collected protocols. Unfortunately, for various reasons, the protocols of up to 6% of the polling stations were not physically provided to the observers, and the "Common Cause" organization took pictures of them in order to pick them up.
The day of elections of deputies of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic passed with a low turnout, was accompanied by malfunctions of the smart ballot boxes and inaccuracies in the visualization of the preliminary results of the voting, procedural violations and other serious problems.
The Foundation's public observers had the opportunity to monitor all processes on the mobile voting day, as well as directly on voting day. As of the writing of this preliminary statement, the Foundation continues to collect data on manual vote counting.
The pre-election period was accompanied by violations of the rules of pre-election campaigning, there were cases of vote-buying using more complex schemes, with minimal influence of the local administrative resource.
On November 28, 2021, elections of deputies of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic were held on a mixed electoral system. To observe the Parliamentary elections, the Public Foundation "Common Cause" involved 600 short-term observers in 300 polling stations, 72 long-term observers, 46 coordinators of short-term observers and mobile teams, 20 call center operators and 8 regional lawyers to observe the opening, voting, and counting procedures of the voting results across the country. For stationary observation at 300 polling stations, the Foundation uses Statistically Based Observation, an advanced election observation methodology that allows to draw conclusions about individual electoral processes on election day, reflecting the situation in the country as a whole.
The constitutional reform led to a change in the form of government in the country from a parliamentary to a presidential form, where the powers of the president were significantly increased. An inventory of the entire regulatory legal framework is in full swing in the country. A number of laws1 have been adopted that have sparked public protests and criticism from the international community. During the current election campaign, the President signed the Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code, abolished the Misdemeanor Code, and amended the laws regulating the work of the judiciary. All of these changes have raised and continue to raise concerns about possible restrictions on civil and political freedoms.
The elections of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh of KR were held with a low turnout, according to the data as of 8 PM, the voter turnout was 35.5% (with an error of +/- 3.05% with an accuracy of 0.99%). The data of the Public Foundation “Common Cause” on the turnout for the single district coincides with the official data of the CEC within the limits of the margin of error. For comparison, according to the CEC, the turnout in the early presidential elections was 39.75%, last year in the parliamentary elections on October 4, the turnout was 56.2%.
The low turnout is due to a number of factors, such as fatigue of the electorate from ongoing election campaigns, lack of trust in candidates and political parties, tight deadlines due to which many were unable to familiarize themselves with the new rules, the cold season, the difficult socio-economic situation in the country, and others.
Elections of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh of KR of the 7th convocation were held according to the new mixed electoral system, which was introduced without wide public discussion of the proposed amendments and changes. The change in the electoral system and the tight deadlines for appointing and holding elections after the change in the electoral system prevented electoral participants from full preparing for the elections. The Common Cause PF in its Risk Analysis previously pointed out that the tight deadlines for introducing a new electoral system and holding elections in accordance with it may entail risks at every stage of the elections.
For example, the Foundation noted that given the short time frame for the adoption of amendments and additions to the constitutional law, voters did not have enough time to familiarize themselves with the voting procedures and in practice this can lead to difficulties for voters when filling out a ballot in a single-district and, as a result, lead to more invalid ballots.
The above concerns of the Foundation have been confirmed in practice, as evidenced by the large number of invalid ballots. So, according to preliminary data of the CEC, the number of invalid ballots was 116,246, which is 9.64%. Compared to the past elections in October 2020, the percentage of invalid ballots was 28,209, which was 1.5%.
In the course of manual counting of votes, the Foundation's predictions were confirmed that manual counting of votes in a single-district would be extremely difficult for members of precinct election commissions and the establishment of the voting results would take a long time. So, according to the CEC, as of 05.00 AM on November 29, 2021, protocols of manual counting of votes from 94.71% of polling stations have not been received.
Currently, the Foundation continues to collect data on voting results from polling stations monitored. Upon completion of data collection, the Foundation will verify the data of the protocols of manual vote counting with the data of election commissions.
The preliminary results showed that in the new convocation of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, the representation of women will be minimal, although the law retained a 30 percent quota. The mixed proportional system ultimately led to gender disproportionate results. In single-member constituencies, all 34 mandates will be distributed among men, with the exception of two constituencies in Bishkek, where the elections were declared invalid. Of the 90 deputies, perhaps 16 deputies will be women and 74 men, if there is no pressure on women to exclude them from the list of the parties.
Initial disputes arose at the stage of defining the boundaries and schemes of single-member constituencies, and then disputes arose at all stages of the electoral process. During the nomination and registration of candidates, lists of candidates from political parties, various disputes and legal proceedings also took place, of which the greatest resonance was caused by the dispute over the need to terminate the powers of Speaker T. Mamytov. execution of official powers. Subsequently, the said decision of the CEC of the Kyrgyz Republic was declared illegal and canceled by the decision of the Administrative Court of Bishkek. By the ruling of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, the cassation appeal of the CEC of the Kyrgyz Republic was returned, thus the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic avoided fulfilling the duties assigned to it to consider this case.
It is worth noting the situation regarding the candidate R. Mombekov, whose registration on the eve of the elections was canceled due to the lack of passive suffrage (higher education). Disagreeing with the decision of the Central Election Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic, R. Mombekov went to court. The court of the first instance noted the decision of the CEC of the Kyrgyz Republic and reinstated R. Mombekov as a candidate.
At the stage of the pre-election campaign, some candidates were not provided with equal conditions. In particular, we are talking about the candidate R. Dzheenbekov, who, despite being registered as a candidate in a single-member constituency, was not given the opportunity to conduct an election campaign on an equal basis with other registered candidates, in the form of personal meetings with voters, participation in TV debates and appeals to voters. Regarding the Social Democrats party candidates A. Koduranova, I. Karamushkina and the candidate for the single-member constituency Sagymbaev K., the Foundation notes that their campaign began 5 days later than the others, due to the need to obtain written permission from the court to travel outside Bishkek during the agitation period.
The period of pre-election campaigning was characterized by less activity of candidates and political parties in comparison with the past elections of deputies of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic in October 2020. There is an increase in the activity of candidates and parties in social media. At the same time, during the pre-election campaign, speeches of various political civil servants took place, including President Zhaparov S., First Deputy Head of the Cabinet of Ministers E. Baisalov, and Chairman of the State Committee for National Security Tashiev K., who expressed critical remarks against the leaders of the parties “Butun Kyrgyzstan" and "Ata-Meken", as well as the candidate for the single-member constituency D. Bekeshev. Some of their statements were perceived by some opposition candidates as threats, pressure against politicians and interference in the electoral process.
We also note more active campaigning in social media and messengers. At the same time, a large amount of dissemination of false information (the so-called "black PR") in the media space and social media in relation to candidates and political parties.
In the last week of campaigning, individual parties appealed to the CEC with an appeal to remove from the election race parties involved in vote-buying. During the pre-election campaign, reports were received about vote-buying via mobile and electronic wallets.
Most parties and candidates noted that in comparison with the parliamentary elections in 2020, there were no obstacles to the opening of headquarters and campaigning.
A positive aspect is the provision of free airtime and the organization of televised debates not only for candidates in a single-district, but also for candidates in single-member constituencies on regional television channels.
We note that the process of considering complaints was not objective in all cases; in a number of cases, different sanctions were applied for the same violations, which had a negative impact on the credibility of the CEC and to the practice of resolving electoral disputes.
Law enforcement agencies, in comparison with previous campaigns, reacted more actively to reports of violations of electoral legislation. But at the same time, a large number of materials were written off to the nomenclature.
The Foundation notes with a positive fact the introduction into operation of the automated system of transparency of electoral funds of candidates and political parties "Financial Transparency". From November 15, 2021, this system displays information on the receipt and expenditure of funds from the electoral funds of candidates and political parties in the format of when and how much money was received on a special account and for what goods, services and how much was spent. However, these measures taken do not allow to fully exercise control over the receipt and expenditure of funds in addition to the electoral fund.
An analysis of electoral funds showed that the total amount of the four parties with the largest electoral fund (Ata-Jurt Kyrgyzstan, Ishenim, Alliance and Yntymak) is 99.3 million soms, which exceeds the total amount of electoral funds of the remaining 17 parties, the total amount of the remaining 17 parties is only 67.6 million soms.
The largest number of billboards, headquarters and agitators are observed in 5 political parties: Ata-Jurt-Kyrgyzstan, Ishenim, Alliance, Yntymak and El Umutu.
The opening procedure in most cases was carried out in accordance with the law.
Pre-election period: In total, from October 25 to November 26, 2021, 151 reports were received from public observers of the Public Foundation "Common Cause", violations of electoral legislation, of which 134 reports of violations of election campaign rules, vote- buying - 8 reports, use of administrative resources, pressure, violence and threats - 9 reports.
Violations of the rules of pre-election campaigning: by political parties - 75 reports, by candidates of single-member constituencies - 43 reports, by officials - 2 reports and unknown persons - 14 reports.
Vote-buying: for political parties - 5 reports, for candidates of single-member constituencies - 3 reports.
Use of administrative resources, pressure, violence and threats: by political parties - 4 reports, by candidates of single-member constituencies - 5 reports.
From the reports received, the breakdown by cities and regions is the following:
On the day of voting outside the premises, 12 reports on violations were received, including about
As of 9 PM, 46 reports on violations were received, including the lack of recount of ballots - 10, there was no PEC meeting (including the drawing of lots - 7, infringement of the rights of observers and pressure on the observer - 2, violation of the secrecy of vote - 6, campaigning on voting day - 5, SBB failure - 3, SBB was not sealed - 1, about deviation from the voter list - 1, presence of unauthorized persons at PEC - 2, technical error when calibrating the list of parties - 1, voting instead of another voter - 1, the PEC chairman did not present to those present, for visual inspection, the received ballots - 2, opening the SBB due to filling in ballots - 1 and the transportation of voters - 4.
At 99.3% of the polling stations, unused ballots were recounted and canceled in accordance with the law,
At 99.3% of polling stations, the opening of portable ballot boxes was carried out in a single-district and in a single-member constituency in accordance with the law.
At 99.7% of the stations, manual counting was carried out in a single-district openly and publicly.
At 94% of polling stations, observers received a certified copy of the manual counting protocol based on the results of voting in a single-district.
At 2.3% (7) polling stations, there are cases of infringement of the rights of public observers during the observation of the closing and counting procedures.
The Foundation will continue to monitor the processes of manual counting of votes, summing up the results of elections of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh of KR until the official publication of the election results, as well as consideration of complaints in higher electoral bodies and courts, in accordance with the established procedures. At the end of the observation, the Foundation will prepare a final report that will cover the entire electoral process.
Common Cause PF expresses gratitude to all the electoral bodies for their cooperation, as well as their observers who monitored during the pre-election period and on election day throughout the country, the media for covering the preliminary results of non-partisan observation.
Monitoring of elections is carried out within the framework of the project "Non-partisan observation of the elections of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, scheduled for November 28, 2021", implemented by the public foundation "Common Cause".