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Statement by the Mission of Monitors from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on monitoring the preparations for and holding of the election of the
19.10.2017 16:15

On 10-15 October, 2017, the Mission ofáMonitors fromáthe Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, hereinafter referred toáas the Mission, monitored the preparations foráand holding ofáthe election ofáthe President ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic atáthe invitation ofáthe Central Commission foráElections and Holding Referendums ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic.

The Mission regards the invitation ofáinternational monitors asáan indication ofáthe striving ofáthe leaders ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic toáguarantee that the presidential election is asáopen, transparent and democratic asápossible.

1. The Mission's members

The Mission consists ofárepresentatives ofálegislative, executive and electoral bodies ofáSCO member-states and SCO Secretariat officials. Representatives ofáIndia and Pakistan, the new SCO member-states, joined the Mission foráthe first time.

SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov headed the Mission.

The Mission included the followingámembers:

fromáthe Republic ofáIndia: Verma Rakesh Kumar, Second Secretary witháthe Republic ofáIndia Embassy ináthe Kyrgyz Republic;

fromáthe Republic ofáKazakhstan: Sultan Dyusembinov, Secretary ofáthe Almaty Region's Maslikhat (Municipal Parliament); Yermek Apekov, Chief Inspector ofáthe Almaty Region's Akim;

fromáthe People's Republic ofáChina: Jiang Wei, Deputy Section Head atáthe PRC Foreign Ministry's Department ofáEurope and Central Asia;

fromáthe Islamic Republic ofáPakistan: Zafar Ikbal Hussain, Second Secretary ofáthe Election Commission;

fromáthe Russian Federation: Vladimir Pozdnyakov, Deputy ofáthe State Duma ofáthe Federal Assembly (Parliament); Mikhail Kozlov, Member ofáthe Federation Council ofáthe Federal Assembly; Siyabshakh Shapiyev, Member ofáthe Central Election Commission;

fromáthe Republic ofáTajikistan: Nurali Saidov, Secretary-Coordinator ofáthe Public Council;

fromáthe Republic ofáUzbekistan: Abdullazhan Khamrakulov, Deputy ofáthe Legislative Chamber ofáthe Supreme Assembly/Oliy Majlis (Parliament) ofáUzbekistan; Ulugbek Abduyaminov, Councilor witháthe Republic ofáUzbekistan Embassy ináthe Kyrgyz Republic;

fromáthe SCO Secretariat: Nurali Irzayev, Senior Expert; Lu Yi, Second Category Expert; Ulzhan Galinova, Assistant.

2. The Mission's activities

The Mission fulfilled its functions ináline witháthe Statute ofáthe Mission ofáSCO Monitors ofáPresidential and/or Parliamentary Elections and Referendums. Its members honoured the principle ofápolitical neutrality and non-interference ináthe domestic affairs ofáthe state and inástrict conformity witháthe legislation ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic.

The authorities created all the required conditions foráthe Mission's members, so that they could prepare foráand monitor the election. This shows the openness and transparency ofáthe election process.

The Mission acted ináline witháits official work plan.

The Mission's members met and spoke withásenior officials ofáthe Central Commission foráElections and Holding Referendums, chairpersons, secretaries and members ofáterritorial and district election commissions, voters, local and public monitors, heads and members ofámonitoring missions fromáforeign states and international organisations and representatives ofámedia outlets.

The Mission's members were informed inádetail aboutáthe work ofáthe Central Commission foráElections and Holding Referendums, its efforts toáprepare foráand hold the election, including atáKyrgyzstan's diplomatic missions abroad.

All ofáthe Mission's findings and conclusions are based onáthe personal observations ofáits members and facts collected duringápreparations foráthe election and onáthe day ofáthe election.

3. The legal framework ofáthe election ofáthe President ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic

The Constitution ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic, the Constitutional Law ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic onáElections ofáthe President ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic and Deputies ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic's Supreme Council/Parliament (Zhogorku Kenesh) (No. 68 ofá2 July 2011), the Law ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic onáElection Commissions toáHold Elections and Referendums ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic (No. 62 ofá30 June, 2011), resolutions and decisions ofáthe Central Commission foráHolding Elections and Referendums and other regulatory acts form the legal framework ofáelections ofáthe President ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic.
On 14 June 2017, the Kyrgyz Republic's Supreme Council/Parliament (Zhogorku Kenesh) passed its Resolution No. 1681-VI and set the date foráthe election ofáthe President ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic forá15 October 2017 ináline withásection 1(2) ofáArticle 74 ofáthe Constitution ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic, section 1 ofáArticle 48 ofáthe Constitutional Law ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic onáElections ofáthe President ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic and Deputies ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic's Supreme Council/Parliament (Zhogorku Kenesh), section 1(2) ofáArticle 3 and Article 134 ofáthe Law ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic onáthe Regulations ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic's Supreme Council/Parliament (Zhogorku Kenesh).

The Mission conducted an in-depth assessment ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic's election laws. Kyrgyzstan has created all the required conditions foráthe parties toáthe election process atálegislative level. The Kyrgyz Republic holds elections onáthe basis ofáuniversal, equal and direct election rights and byásecret ballot. The elections are based onáthe free and voluntary exercise ofáelection rights byáthe citizens ofáthe republic.

The Mission focused onámeasures toástreamline and democratise election laws ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic and notes the followingáaspects:

First, citizens ofáKyrgyzstan exercising active voting rights onáthe day ofáelections who have completed biometric registration are included inávoters' lists atáthe relevant polling station according toáregistration or a statement regarding their voting address (Form No. 2);

Second, the State Registration Service atáthe Government ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic compiles a list ofávoters onáthe basis ofápersonal and biometric data contained ináthe Integral State Population Register;

Third, election commissions preparing foráand holding elections enforce and protect the election rights ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic's citizens using an official website onáthe www.shailoo.srs.kg Internet portal;

Fourth, identifying voters byátheir biometric and personal data onáelection day using automatic vote-recording ballot-boxes making it possible toáautomatically count voting returns and toáquickly send them toáa server ofáthe Central Election Commission;

Fifth, installing the required number ofáautomatic vote-recording ballot-boxes atápolling stations, asáwell asáthe procedure ofáusing reserve ballot-boxes byáa district election commission ináthe event ofámalfunctioning ballot-boxes;

Sixth, installing special equipment atávoting facilities, including voting booths, monitors and boxes, foráthe purpose ofávisual control byámonitors, authorised representatives ofácandidates and political parties;

Seventh, setting upávoting facilities forápeople withádisabilities;

Eighth, organisation ofáthe voting process forápeople who are incarcerated butáhave not yet been sentenced byácourts;

Ninth, the creation ofáfavourable conditions forácitizens unable toávote onáelection day forávarious reasons; this implies an early voting mechanism.

Amendments were made toáthe Constitutional Law ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic onáElections ofáthe President ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic and Deputies ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic's Supreme Council/Parliament (Zhogorku Kenesh). For example, the institution ofápublic monitors was introduced; the procedure foráestablishing election districts was determined; the involvement ofáonline publications ináelection campaigns was regulated accordingly; the deadline forápeople toáacquaint themselves withávoters' lists was extended; candidates' election deposits increased ten-fold, and the ceiling ofátheir campaign funds' expenses was abolished.

The Mission notes that amendments toánational election legislation ináthe pastáfew years have strengthened the legal framework foráguaranteeing the free and open expression ofávoters' will.

For the purpose ofáexplaining certain provisions ofáthe Constitutional Law and guaranteeing the uniform application ofáits norms, the Central Election Commission has approved the statutes On the Organisation ofáVoting and its Procedure, onáEstablishing Voting Returns During Elections ofáthe President ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic, On the Procedure ofáCooperation betweenáthe Central Commission foráHolding Elections and Referendums and the State Registration Service atáthe Government ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic duringáPreparations foráand duringáElections ofáthe President ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic, Deputies ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic's Supreme Council/Parliament (Zhogorku Kenesh) and Referendums ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic, On Guaranteeing Election Rights ofáCertain Categories ofáCitizens duringáElections and Referendums ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic, asáwell asáa Manual foráCandidates foráPresident ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic.

4. Presidential candidates ináthe Kyrgyz Republic

The 15 October 2017 presidential election ináthe Kyrgyz Republic involved the followingá11 candidates:

1. Ernis Zarlykov, independent candidate;
2. Toktaiym Umetaliyeva, independent candidate;
3. Temir Sariyev, Akshumkar Party;
4. Ulukbek Kochkorov, independent candidate;
5. Taalatbek Masadykov, independent candidate;
6. Omurbek Babanov, independent candidate;
7. Arstanbek Abdyldayev, independent candidate;
8. Azimbek Beknazarov, independent candidate;
9. Sooronbai Jeenbekov, Social Democratic Party ofáKyrgyzstan;
10. Adakhan Madumarov, Butun Kyrgyzstan Party;
11. Arslanbek Maliyev, independent candidate.

5. Election campaigns

The Central Commission foráElections and Referendums ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic approved a statute On the Procedure foráHolding Election Campaigns duringáPresidential Elections ináthe Kyrgyz Republic that regulates the procedure and conditions.

The Mission notes that election campaign events were held ináaccordance witháKyrgyz Republic law, based onáwidely available information and promotion; these events received detailed and diverse media coverage.

Equal conditions were created foráfair competition betweenáthe parties ináthe election process. Presidential candidates ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic received equal and free access toáprime time coverage and equal sized print media space. They received equal opportunities toámeet withávoters. The presidential candidates distributed campaign materials duringáthese events and explained their platforms.

The Mission notes that materials dealing witháefforts toáprepare foráand hold the presidential election ináthe Kyrgyz Republic were distributed ináthe state language (Kyrgyz) and the official language (Russian).

The Mission notes that the highly competitive presidential elections ináthe Kyrgyz Republic were held ináan open and transparent atmosphere, witháthe active involvement ofácivil society representatives, and that favourable conditions were created, allowing citizens toámake an independent and well thought-out choice.

The Mission did not receive any complaints or remarks aboutáthe media outlets covering the campaign.

6. Preparatory work

The Mission notes that comprehensive work toáguarantee the peoples' election rights was conducted duringáthe implementation ofáthe calendar plan ofáthe main events toáprepare foráand hold presidential elections byáthe Central Commission foráElections and Referendums ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic and election commissions atáall levels.

In all, 2,375 polling stations were established, including 33 additional polling stations and 37 polling stations atáthe Kyrgyz Republic's diplomatic missions abroad.

A total ofá3,025,770 voters were registered.

The Central Commission established the followingáworking groups: foráaccepting documents ofápresidential candidates, foráaccepting and checking candidate nomination lists, foráinforming voters and other election-process parties aboutáefforts toáprepare foráand hold presidential elections, forámonitoring compliance witháelection campaign regulations duringáelections, foráreviewing statements and complaints ofávoters and other parties. Plus, other groups were established.

The presidential elections took place underáa new election model using new technology (voting viaábiometric data using automatic vote-recording ballot-boxes).

This technology was first tested duringáthe 11 December 2016 referendum onáthe draft law On Amending the Constitution ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic and also duringáearly elections ofádeputies toásome local keneshes (councils) ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic oná28 May 2017.

Under the new voting model, election results are summed upáon the basis ofáprotocols listing hand-counted ballots. Data provided byáautomatic vote-recording ballot-boxes is used toáverify the authenticity ofáhand-counted ballot data. The Central Commission conducted tests using automatic vote-recording ballot-boxes that were deemed successful.

In an effort toáprevent possible technical malfunctions that might have been caused byáhuman error, operator training methods were streamlined, and special teaching aids onáthe new technology were compiled. Coaches received international certificates and trained personnel toáuse automatic vote-recording ballot-boxes nationwide.

To minimise any time loss due toátechnical malfunction, the Central Commission together witháthe State Registration Service ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic established professional technical support groups ináevery region ofáthe country. Each IT expert was provided witháa vehicle toáquickly respond toárequests.

Essential organisational work toádeliver automatic vote-recording ballot-boxes toáthe country's remote mountain areas and toáintroduce a mechanism foráonline voting-return data transmission was conducted.

Every voter ináthe Kyrgyz Republic was able toácheck his or her personal data ináthe overall list ofávoters ináadvance using the National Information Campaign "Check Yourself ináthe Lists" onáthe internet portal ofáthe Central Commission's website.

The Central Commission's website posted regulatory documents and materials toáexplain the distinguishing features ofáthe national election system and pre-election news. Central and regional printed media outlets and television news broadcasts covered election issues.

Thirteen promo videos onáthe elections were prepared ináthe Kyrgyz and Russian languages atáthe request ofáthe Central Commission, and were shown onánational television and broadcast onáthe radio. They were also posted onáthe Central Commission's official website. A guidebook foráinternational monitors overseeing the election ofáthe president ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic oná15 October 2017 was printed ináRussian and ináEnglish. A presentation ofáthe vote-return data transmission system and automatic vote-recording ballot-boxes was also organised.

7. Voting day

On 15 October 2017, voting day, members ofáthe Mission arrived atápolling stations beforeáthey opened and oversaw the preparation ofáballots and automatic vote-recording ballot-boxes.

Members ofáthe Mission monitored elections ináfive outáof the seven regions ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic and inácities withárepublican affiliation. The Mission visited 189 polling stations ináthe cities ofáBishkek, Osh, Kant, Kara-Balta, Cholpon-Ata, Balykchy, Uzgen, asáwell asáthose inácommunities ofáthe Chuy, Issyk-Kul, Naryn, Osh and Jalal-Abad regions.

The Mission notes that the election began onáa celebratory note, that is, byáplaying the national anthem ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic.

The Mission's monitors visited polling stations withoutáany advanced planning and withoutácoordinating their visits witháexecutive and election agencies. Each Mission member independently chose a polling station. Mission members faced no obstacles while visiting polling stations.

The Mission notes the active participation ofácitizens ináthe election and the impressive professionalism ofámembers ofádistrict election commissions.

Members ofádistrict election commissions created the required conditions foráholding the voting process, they remained unbiased duringáthe voting process, they provided exhaustive explanations onávarious issues raised byávoters, and they treated voters, asáwell asálocal, public and international monitors tactfully and attentively.

Election commissions worked skillfully, ináan open, transparent and independent manner.

District election commissions had all the required documentation, information and reference materials, monitor registration journals, methodological compilations, duty schedules forátheir officials, evacuation diagrams and other documents.

Polling stations had enough automatic vote-recording ballot-boxes foráaccommodating all voters, asáwell asáreserve ballot-boxes foráuse byádistrict election commissions inácase ofáemergency.

Braille ballots were printed forávisually impaired persons foráthe first time. Senior citizens, asáwell asápeople withádisabilities, were treated ináa particularly tactful manner. Those who came first and those who had never voted beforeáreceived commemorative souvenirs.

In an effort toáguarantee a transparent voting process, video cameras were installed atápolling stations and merged ináa single computer network. This allowed the Central Commission foráElections and Holding Referendums ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic toámonitor the voting process online and toámaintain stable video communications witháthe country's regions.

The voting process atápolling stations proceeded calmly and ináthe presence ofálocal, public and international monitors and media representatives; and the established procedure was duly complied with.

Members ofáthe Mission were also present duringáthe closing ofápolling stations, the vote-counting process and the signing ofáelection commissions' protocols onávoting returns.

The Mission's representatives did not receive any complaints or remarks regarding the voting process.

At the same time, the Mission noted some technical violations which were not numerous and which could not have influenced the results ofáthe election.

8. Main conclusions

The Mission states that the presidential election ináthe Kyrgyz Republic met the requirements ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic's election laws and its international obligations.

The Mission did not note any violations ofáprovisions ofánational laws that would cast doubt onáthe legitimacy ofáthe election.

The Mission recognises the latest election asáopen, free and democratic.

The Mission states that the latest presidential election was an important step onáthe road ofáfurthering democratic processes ináthe Kyrgyz Republic.

The Mission congratulates the people ofáKyrgyzstan onáthe latest presidential election ináthe Kyrgyz Republic, wishes them every success inástrengthening independence, sovereignty and maintaining the country's socioeconomic development, asáwell asánew achievements ináall areas ofálife and prosperity.

The Mission ofáMonitors fromáthe Shanghai Cooperation Organisation expresses profound gratitude toáthe Central Commission foráElections and Holding Referendums ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic, the Foreign Ministry ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic, the State Agency foráArchitecture, Construction, Housing, Utilities and Amenities atáthe Government ofáthe Kyrgyz Republic, asáwell asáother organisations and agencies forátheir comprehensive assistance and help duringáits work.

Mission ofáMonitors fromá
the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
16 October 2017, Bishkek

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