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Last Updated:[30-06-2010 06:05:28 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Normalcy in Kyrgyzstan Weigh beyond Parliamentary Democracy



tradenews Despite a referendum for parliamentary democracy, the future of Kyrgyzstan depends a lot on the foreign policy for the country by Russia and the US. Russia along with the US backed the decision to go ahead with the referendum from presidential to parliamentary form. However, Russia disparaged on that idea soon after the result of the referendum was out.

Both the US and Russia have military bases in Kyrgyzstan and a stake in the country's stability. The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking to reporters after the recent G20 summit in Toronto, voiced concern that a parliamentary system would make Kyrgyzstan vulnerable to extremists.

But the unexpected criticism from Russia, Kyrgyzstan’s closest ally may make the whole process of referendum seem farcical. The two month period of a country, which witnessed a bloodless coup d’état usurping an autocratic ruler, the reinstatement of a new leader, the turbulence that followed and the eventual referendum all indicate Kyrgyzstan’s stability will continue to rely on the US-Russia ties.

Over the past 2 weeks, southern Kyrgyzstan has been plagued by ethnic clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. The violence have left about 2000 dead, and more than 400,000 Uzbeks were displaced and forced to flee from violent rampages to overcrowded refugee camps in Uzbekistan. The allegedly Russia sponsored coup d’état is believed to have set ablaze the volatile relations between the less fortunate Kyrgyz majority and the generally rich Uzbek minority.

The referendum is expected to usher in a parliamentary system of governance, making Kyrgyzstan the first of Central Asia's former Soviet republics to shed a tradition of strong presidential rule. All of the other Central Asian states - Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - have presidential forms of government. Under the new referendum, parliamentary elections will be held in October this year.

As of now, Kyrgyzstan is in the middle of a tug of war between the US and Russia to take direct or quasi control over the Kyrgyzstan's Manas international airport, the only prime location for transporting NATO soldiers and supplies to Afghanistan. As both parties have interests beyond strategic to prospecting trade opportunities in the country as well as the region, the camaraderie seen during the G20 meet between Obama and Medvedev only holds complete solution to the present crisis of Kyrgyzstan.

By Jose Roy




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