Candidates from fourteen political parties are vying for seats in Kyrgyzstan’s 120-member parliament as campaigning heats up in advance of elections October 4. Although domestic concerns are driving the pre-election debate, the outcome of the vote will also either confirm the Kyrgyz government’s recent foreign policy tilt towards Russia, or push the country back toward its more familiar independence and moderation within Central Asia.
This edition of RFE/RLive will examine Kyrgyzstan’s dynamic political scene, and what the upcoming elections could mean for the country and the region.
RFE/RLive -- Election Day: Kyrgyzstan
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Washington, D.C.--8:00 a.m. / Prague--2:00 p.m. /Bishkek--7 p.m.
WATCH THE HANGOUT HERE:
Venera Djumataeva, the Director of RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service, has been with RFE/RL since 1995. A graduate of Kyrgyz State University, Djumataeva has also covered Kyrgyz politics for Radio “Mir” and been a contributor to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.
Bruce Pannier, the editor of Qishloq Ovozi, RFE/RL’s Central Asian blog, has covered Central Asia and energy issues for RFE/RL since 1997. Pannier also worked as an analyst with the Open Media Research Institute in Prague, and in 1992r led a University of Manchester and Soros Cultural Initiative Foundation-sponsored sociological project in Central Asia that allowed him to live in rural Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Edil Baisalov is a longtime Kyrgyz political activist who served as chief of staff to the head of the interim Government in Kyrgyzstan, Roza Otunbayeva, following the April 2010 uprising against former President Kurmanbek Bakiev. From 2012-2013, Baisalov was Deputy Minister of Social Development. Baisalov played an active role in the 2005 Tulip Revolution, and survived a 2006 assassination attempt that followed his public criticism of President Bakiev’s failure to battle organized crime in the country.
Eric McGlinchey is Associate Professor of Politics at George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. He is the author of “Chaos, Violence, Dynasty: Politics and Islam in Central Asia.” His current research investigates international litigation of Central Asian assets and United States policy responses to crises in Eurasia. McGlincheyreceived his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2003.
Muhammad Tahir is Director of RFE/RL's Turkmen Service. He joined RFE/RL in 2002 as an editor and broadcaster for the Turkmen Service in Prague. He has also worked as a regional correspondent for IHA Turkish Television News Agency in Islamabad and Kabul, from 1999-2002.