Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 103

The Kyrgyz parliament’s two chambers–the Legislative Assembly and the House of People’s Representatives –voted overwhelmingly September 22 and 26, respectively, to schedule a presidential election for December 24. The parliament had, a week earlier, refused to call a referendum on giving president Askar Akayev a further term of office without an election. The referendum petition had been signed by approximately half the electorate, far in excess of the signatures required for calling a referendum; but the parliament deemed the presidential circle’s idea undemocratic and resolved to call a contested election instead . Akayev did not dispute the decision. (13)

Akayev was elected president by the then-Supreme Soviet of Kyrgyzstan in October 1990 and by popular vote one year later, for a five-year term in each case. The legislature’s resistance to the president’s wish to dispense with an election, and insistence to hold it on time, marks a rare setback to the trend underway in most former Soviet republics toward semi-authoritarian presidential rule. But the parliament’s stand hardly damages Akayev’s reelection prospects.

Uzbek Cotton Harvest Outlook Bright.