Voting in Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections. held on 4th October, saw the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), taking 27% of the vote, with five other pro-Russian parties also winning seats.
The SDPK was founded by the the current President, Almazbek Atambayev.
However, as no party won an outright majority, a pro-Russia coalition government will need to be formed, a result that could see a continuation of the political in-fighting that saw four cabinets collapse in the last five years.
Kyrgyzstan is a predominantly Muslim country of six million people, that, over recent years, has moved closer to Moscow and further away from the West.
Reliance on Russia is heavy as Moscow has written off the bulk of Kyrgyzstan’s debts. In addition, the Russian energy giant Gazprom now owns the Kyrgyz gas pipelines, and it is estimated that up to a million Kyrgyz migrants work in Russia.
In addition, the outgoing parliament approved the first reading of a bill banning “gay propaganda” and another requiring foreign-funded charities to be registered as “foreign agents” if they encroach into politics. Both of these bills are a copy of laws recently passed in Russia.
The two bills were put on hold after criticism from the West and human rights bodies, but will almost certainly be reconsidered once a new parliament is in place.
The country is also still healing the wounds caused by clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad in 2010, which killed more than 400 people.
According to a report by the International Crisis Group (ICG): “The Kyrgyz nationalist narrative that emerged after the Osh pogroms is now firmly entrenched and facilitated by a variety of groups across the country.
“Pockets of religious radicalisation and intolerance, sometimes presented as traditional Kyrgyz values, are also a challenge, but instead of confronting these trends, political parties are incorporating them.”
- Pray for Kyrgyzstan, a country that has seen little economic development in 24 years of independence, and has struggled with political instability and growing nationalism.
- Pray for the new government as it seeks to form a coalition. Pray that leaders and politicians can put aside their own agendas and genuinely seek the good of the country and it’s people, many of whom struggle with poverty and high unemployment.
- Pray for the government to put in measure to end the crippling corruption that is rife at every level of this country.
- Pray for the Kyrgyz Church, which has struggled over recent years with disunity and complacency. As it faces growing pressure against it from the government and Muslim communities, pray that it can work together, pray together and have a passion to reach the Kyrgyz people with the Gospel.
1 Timothy 2 vs 1 – 2: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.