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Zhaparov wins elections and Kyrgyz turn their back on parliamentarism

Moscow, Jan 10 . .- The ruling party Sadir Zhaparov, raised to power in the October revolution in Kyrgyzstan, overwhelmingly won Sunday’s presidential elections in that small Central Asian republic, where voters also turned their backs on parliamentarism in a controversial referendum. According to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), Zhapárov won 79.24% of the votes after counting 96% of the votes cast, figures that far exceed the results of the most optimistic polls. “I thought I would achieve 60-65%,” he acknowledged. As soon as his victory was confirmed, overshadowed by a participation of 38.6%, the lowest since 1991, he promised that “in two or three years” he will get the country out of the “very serious” crisis in which it finds itself and that Russia will continue to be Kyrgyzstan’s “main strategic partner”. INAPELABLE VICTORY Zhapárov, a confessed nationalist of 52 years, will replace Sooronbai Jeenbekov, who resigned after the violent riots last October, the third revolution experienced by this country, considered the most democratic in Central Asia, since the independence of the USSR. So sure was he of his victory that he was the only one of the 17 candidates in the running who did not participate in the television debates, although he raised more money during the campaign than the rest of his rivals combined, which has led some experts to link him with groups criminals. The second most voted candidate is the opposition leader Adajan Madumárov with 6.7% of the votes, although he had warned during the day that it was “impossible” for any of the 17 candidates in the running to achieve victory in the first round. In fact, he assured at the closing of the polls that he does not recognize the results of the elections, denounced numerous violations and announced that he will hold consultations with his advisers on a possible appeal to the CEC. “Most of the support for Zhaparov is a fake,” he said, predicting “serious consequences” for the country. However, the CEC stressed that, unlike the parliamentary elections in October, there have been hardly any irregularities, infractions or cases of vote buying today, although it will be necessary to wait on Monday for the verdict of international observers. By casting his vote, Zhaparov called on his rivals to recognize the results of the elections whoever the winner was in order to prevent the country from taking to the streets again like three months ago. “After the elections, we have to recognize the results, whoever wins (…) There are some forces that seek to organize riots and a counterrevolution, but they trust that the Kyrgyz people will not allow it,” he told reporters. FROM PRISON TO PRESIDENCY Zhaparov’s rise has been meteoric, as before the fraudulent elections on October 4, he was serving eleven years in prison for kidnapping a governor and participating in a popular uprising in 2013. Without directly participating in the riots October post-election, he was the politician who got the most out of the revolution. In a matter of days, Zhaparov was released from prison by the mob, acquitted by the Supreme Court, appointed prime minister and then acting president of the country. He resigned in November to run for president, a decision whose legality many question, and has since vowed to fight corruption, clan influence and organized crime. Analysts consider him a consummate nationalist. In fact, he ended up in jail after riots in favor of the nationalization of the Kumtor gold mine, owned by a Canadian company. REJECTING PARLIAMENTARIANS Zhaparov killed two birds with one stone today, since, in addition to winning the presidential elections, he managed to convince the Kyrgyz people that the parliamentary system in force since 2010 was the cause of all evil. Coinciding with the presidential elections, Zhaparov called a referendum and 81.3% of the Kyrgyz chose to support the return to the presidential system that ruled the country from independence until the 2010 revolution. Some sectors, including Zhaparov, consider that the only The solution to the perennial political instability of a country without energy resources is a strong presidency like in Russia, where the majority of Kyrgyz emigrants work. Parliamentarism was the reason why many organizations, analysts and politicians in the West considered Kyrgyzstan the most democratic country in Central Asia. Supporters of parliamentarism, today just over 10%, as the other 5% voted against both options, warn that Zhapárov intends to establish an authoritarian system in the image and likeness of Turkmenistan or Tajikistan. The Kyrgyz will again be summoned to the polls in March for a new plebiscite in which they will vote on a new Magna Carta, which Zhaparov’s rivals already call “khan-stitutsia”, as it will give the president (Zhaparov) powers comparable to those of of a khan. According to the project, the head of state will also head the Government and a new consultative state body will be created, the Kuriltai or council, which will make recommendations on the continuity of senior officials, which will reduce the role of the Legislative. .

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