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Kyrgyzstan: Murky Deals Remain Norm in Parliament

Kyrgyzstan’s newly elected parliament is sworn in to the Supreme Council in the capital Bishkek. Since the ceremony in late October 2015, several of the parliament members have given up their seats voluntarily or have been pushed out by legal proceedings and scandal. (Photo: Kyrgyzstan Supreme Council)

In the months following the cleanest elections ever held in Kyrgyzstan, several elected deputies suddenly lost their seats, and, in the process, revealed the shadowy horse-trading that passes for politics in Central Asia’s most lively parliament.

Some gave up their seats for a quieter or perhaps more lucrative life. Others were squeezed out in a fashion that will rekindle cynicism about the inner doings of political parties.

The parliamentary vote in October was meant to be a game-changer — a test of whether the country could hold a calm and fair contest at a time of peace. The vote in 2010 was held after the violent overthrow of a president, followed by the convulsion of ethnic unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan a few months later.

Fourteen parties competed for the 120 seats in parliament this time around.

To read the full story

Anna Lelik is a Bishkek-based reporter.

Kyrgyzstan: Murky Deals Remain Norm in Parliament

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