Candidate who was still in prison last year wins Kyrgyzstan presidential elections

The nationalist politician Sadir Zhyaparov has won the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan. According to the preliminary results, he received about 80% of the votes, which means that there is no need for a second round. The turnout was low due to the extremely cold weather. Probably only about a third of voting rights in the country with 6.5 million inhabitants voted.

The elections were held following the violent protests in October in the Central Asian country, which began following the tumultuous parliamentary elections. Then President Yeenbekov stepped up.


The 52-jariga Zhaparov was in prison around the elections for kidnapping a governor, but he was liberated by his supporters. According to Zhaparov, there was a politically motivated process.

After the protests, during which President Yeenbekov had to take the ground, Zhaparov was briefly appointed Prime Minister and subsequently President. He resigned again in November to be able to participate in the elections. In the meantime, he appointed allies to all kinds of important positions, to hold power in his hands.

Tire with Russia

The nationalist Zjaparov has repeatedly promised to keep Kyrgyzstans bond with Russia. โ€œRussia is our strategic partner,โ€ Zhyaparov said after voting in the capital Bishkek. The Russians have a military air base in the country and are also a destination for hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz migrant workers. Furthermore, Kyrgyzstan is dependent on financial support from Moscow.

The Kyrgyzs were also able to vote today for a new constitution, which gives the President more power. It seems that the new constitution can also count on the support of some 80% of voters. A new system was not on the electoral list. Voters had the choice of maintaining the parliamentary system, a presidential system or against everything.

According to Zhaparov and his supporters, the new constitution with the new system is needed to give the President more executive and legislative power, as is the case in many other Central Asian countries. But critics point out that this power is also being abused by authoritarian types in those countries, and fear that this might happen in Kyrgyzstan as well.