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Jogorku Kenesh (Supreme Council)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Jogorku Kenesh / Supreme Council
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 16 December 2007
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in the Supreme Council following premature dissolution of this body on 22 October 2007. Elections to the Supreme Council had previously taken place on 27 February 2005.
The December 2007 elections followed a referendum held on 21 October which approved constitutional reforms and a new electoral code. The reforms provided for an enlarged 90-member parliament (up from 75) elected under the pure proportional representation system. To gain representation parties need to win a minimum of 5 per cent of votes nationwide and 0.5 per cent of votes in each of the seven regions. On 23 October 2007 President Kurmanbek Bakiyev promulgated the revised constitution and called early elections for 16 December on the grounds that the country needed a new parliament to reflect the new constitutional arrangements.

The 2007 elections were the first national elections to be held under President Bakiyev. Following the previous parliamentary elections held in February 2005 opposition members and their supporters had led street protests calling for the elections to be invalidated. They also demanded that the then President Mr. Askar Akayev should resign. On 24 March he subsequently fled to Moscow while the then Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev submitted his resignation to parliament. Mr. Bakiyev was appointed as acting Prime Minister before being elected as the country's new president in July.

However the country soon experienced a new standoff this time between the President and parliament. In November 2006 following mounting pressure President Bakiyev signed constitutional amendments curtailing presidential power in favour of parliament and increasing the statutory number of members of parliament from 75 to 90. (This reform was later nullified by the Supreme Court). Opposition members demanded early parliamentary elections a call rejected by President Bakiyev and the then Prime Minister Felix Kulov. In December Mr. Kulov resigned as Prime Minister in a bid to defuse the standoff between parliament and the President. President Bakiyev's attempt to re-name Mr. Kulov as prime minister was unsuccessful as parliament twice rejected his candidature in January 2007. He subsequently named the then Agriculture Minister Mr. Azim Isabekov as the new Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Isabekov tried - in vain - to restore relations between the executive and the legislative branches. In late March 2007 he announced that he would be dismissing five ministers arguing that "new people" with "new ideas" would facilitate the formation of a new coalition. However President Bakiyev opposed the cabinet reshuffle and dismissed Mr. Isabekov. The President then announced that he would cooperate with United Kyrgyzstan a newly-formed "opposition" group that included former prosecutor-general Azimbek Beknazarov former foreign minister Roza Otunbaeva and Social Democratic party leader Almazbek Atanbaev. Mr. Atanbaev was named as the new prime minister.

However following the adoption of the new set of constitutional amendments in October 2007 the relationship between President Bakiyev and Prime Minister Atanbaev reportedly worsened. Under the revised Constitution the President cannot be a member of any political party. Nevertheless shortly before calling the constitutional referendum Mr. Bakiyev had helped establish a new party called Ak Zhol People's Party (Ak Zhol meaning "Bright Path"). It absorbed the Ata-Jurt party and some small parties (see note). Opposition parties accused the President of breaching the Constitution and trying to control both the executive and legislative branches. Mr. Atambayev criticized Ak Zhol and government officials for interfering with the election process. On 28 November Mr. Atanbayev resigned as prime minister. The First Deputy Prime Minister Iskenderbek Aidaraliyev became acting prime minister.

The main opposition parties Ata-Merken and Ak-Shumkar formed an electoral coalition under the banner Ata-Merken (meaning "Fatherland"). Its leader former speaker of parliament and prominent opposition figure Mr. Omurbek Tekebayev pledged to unite opposition forces in the new parliament. Other opposition parties included Ar-Namys led by former prime minister Kulov; the Asaba party of Mr. Azimbek Beknazarov; and the Kayran El party of Mr. Dooronbek Sadybayev. The Social Democratic Party as well as the Communist Party also contested the elections.

Aproximately 71.93 per cent of the 2.3 million registered voters turned out at the elections.

About 600 international observers including those from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitored the polls. The OSCE declared that the elections "failed to meet a number of OSCE standards" criticizing the vote tabulation which it considered "prone to violation".

The Ak Zhol People’s Party came in first winning almost 47 per cent of the votes. Although the main opposition Ata-Merken came in second with 8.7 per cent of the votes nationwide it was excluded from seat distribution since it had failed to pass the 0.5 per cent regional threshold in the southern town of Osh. On 18 December the Supreme Court nullified this threshold requirement. However the electoral commission maintained its previous decision and announced the final results on 20 December giving the Ak Zhol People's Party 71 seats the Social Democratic Party 11 seats and the Communist Party eight. In all 23 women were elected.

The Ata-Merken Ar-Namys and Asaba parties claimed vote rigging and argued they had cleared the thresholds to win parliamentary representation. Supporters of Ata-Merken launched a hunger strike protesting the election results. Some 20 people were arrested.

The newly-elected parliament held its first session on 21 December. On 24 December it elected former Secretary of State Mr. Adakhan Madumarov (Ak Zhol People's Party) as its new Speaker. On the same day it also elected former energy and industry minister Mr. Igor Chudinov (Ak Zhol People's Party) who does not speak the Kyrgyz language as the new Prime Minister.

Other parties absorbed by Ak Zhol were the patriotic party of Kyrgyzstan's Unity One Kyrgyzstan Soglasiye El Kelechegi the Republican Labour and Unity Party and My Country.
Voter turnout
Round no 116 December 2007
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

1'650'698 (71.93%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Ak Zhol People's Party 1'228'319 46.99
Social Democratic Party 55'651 5.05
Communist Party 141'034 5.12
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Ak Zhol People's Party 71
Social Democratic Party 11
Communist Party 8
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Source: http://www.akipress.com/

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