Monday, 11 January 2021 04:57 - Written by TCA
Courtesy of The Times of Central Asia [ [link of the website: https://www.timesca.com]
BISHKEK (TCA) — Sadyr Japarov, 52, has vowed to fight corruption and allow more transparency into government operations after winning early presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan on January 10, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.
Speaking to reporters in Bishkek late on January 10, Japarov said that the fight against deeply rooted corruption in Kyrgyzstan will be among his priorities as president. He vowed to bring "openness" and "transparency" to the way government does business in the future.
"During the past 30 years, corruption has taken root in every sphere of our lives. But from now on we won’t allow it to continue that way," Japarov said. "We won’t repeat the mistakes of previous governments."
He also called on fellow presidential candidates to set their "personal interests" aside and work together "for the sake of the country’s future."
With nearly all ballots counted, the Central Election Commission said Japarov received slightly more than 79 percent of the vote.
There were 17 candidates in the presidential race. Japarov’s closest rival, Adakhan Madumarov, received 6.7 percent of the vote.
Madumarov described the early election results as "far from reality" and vowed to "seek justice through legal means."
The results of a simultaneous referendum showed that voters in the Central Asian state of some 6.5 million strongly preferred presidential rule.
According to the official results, more than 80 percent of voters backed a return to presidential rule, while only 10.8 percent supported the current parliamentary system. Nearly 5 percent voted for the third option, "against all."
Election officials said the turnout was less than 40 percent but this wasn’t expected to impact the outcome, as there is no legally imposed threshold for the presidential vote, while 30 percent is the minimum threshold for the referendum to be considered valid.
A second referendum will need to be conducted, tentatively in March, to vote on a new draft constitution.
On January 10, Japarov said that if the switch to a presidential system won voter support, the Constitutional Council would resume work on January 11 to prepare a new draft constitution.
Critics, including Human Rights Watch and legal experts, say Kyrgyzstan’s caretaker parliament did not have the legitimacy to initiate far-reaching constitutional amendments because its term had expired.
Japarov and his supporters have pushed for the referendum, saying the country needs the change to strengthen the role of the president by handing the post extensive legislative and executive powers.
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