Following an official invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, and in accordance with its mandate OSCE/ODIHR has deployed an election observation mission (EOM) to observe the 30 October 2011 presidential election.
ODIHR conducted a needs assessment mission (NAM) from 13 to 15 July 2011 to assess the pre-election environment and the preparations for the presidential election and in order to recommend whether to deploy an OSCE/ODIHR election-related activity for the forthcoming election, and if so, what type of activity best meets the identified needs. The NAM recommended the deployment of a standard election observation mission.
The OSCE/ODIHR EOM, headed by Corien Jonker (Netherlands), began work on 16 September. The EOM has a core team of 14 international staff at the head office in Bishkek, drawn from 11 OSCE participating States. Twenty-eight long-term observers are expected to arrive in the country by 20 September and will be deployed in teams of two throughout the regions.
The mission will assess the entire election process in terms of its compliance with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections, as well as national legislation. Observers will follow campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant state bodies, implementation of the legislative framework, and the resolution of election disputes. As part of the observation, the EOM will conduct comprehensive monitoring of the media.
ODIHR has requested the secondment of 350 short-term observers from OSCE participating States for election day. Short-term observers will be deployed in teams of two throughout the country to monitor the opening of polling stations, voting, the counting of ballots, and the tabulation of results at all levels.
The day after the election, the election observation mission will issue a statement of its preliminary findings and conclusions. A final report on the observation of the entire electoral process will be issued approximately eight weeks after the end of the observation mission.
ODIHR has observed eight elections in the Kyrgyz Republic since 2000, most recently the 2010 parliamentary elections. ODIHR concluded that the October 10 parliamentary elections “constituted a further consolidation of the democratic process. Political pluralism, a vibrant campaign and confidence in the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda characterized the elections. The authorities displayed the political will to bring the country closer to holding democratic elections in line with OSCE commitments. Nevertheless, there is an urgent need for profound electoral legal reform”.
ODIHR has also issued a joint opinion on the “Law on the Draft Law on Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, the Draft Law on Elections to Local Governments and the Draft Law on Formation of Election Commissions of the Kyrgyz Republic”, together with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.