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Kyrgyzstan Presidential Powers Limitation Referendum, 2010

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A Kyrgyzstan Presidential Powers Limitation Referendum was on the June 27 ballot in the country of Kyrgyzstan.

The referendum was approved with over 90 percent of the voters in favor.

Though most voters did not really understand the issue being presented, voting gave them a voice and an ability to stabilize the situation, that a legitimate government would end the violence in the country. It was seen that many southern villages still remained mostly vacant, many of the ethnic Uzbek citizens were too fearful to return; but in other areas turnout was very high and residents were enthusiastic about the referendum. Those that had lost their papers in the quick evacuation were also given new papers by government officials.[1] though there were some irregularities reported, none was significant enough to call the election off or report it as fraudulent.[2]

Before the vote

There was a public uprising against the President due to his condolence of violent means to crack down on a protest against the government which has led to the interim government calling for a referendum vote to limit constitutional powers given to the president. The goal of the referendum would be that the government system would be more in the form of a parliamentary republic and would limit the President's ability to become a dictator. In October a vote is scheduled to choose a new President as well.[3] An independent monitoring system for the June election has been put in place to ensure the elections will be fair and legitimate on an international scale. Training has become for people to be able to monitor the elections.[4]

Violence broke out in the country between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz peoples leading many native Uzbekistan people to flee the country for neighboring Uzbekistan. It is estimated that some 70,000 have now returned to Kyrgyzstan to vote in the upcoming referendum. Refugees returning were still uncertain if clashes would happen again, outsiders predicted the vote on the 27th could trigger more violence.[5] Government officials are relying on paper ballots as the means for residents to vote and noted that due to the strife in the southern region, the 190 polling stations will likely not be open because of security concerns. But outsiders note that without the ethnic vote, which is the most dominant in this southern region, questions of legitimacy will arise with the new government if it is approved.[6]

In a bid to garner more votes, government officials had also set up 38 ballot stations outside of the country, mostly to let foreign migrant workers in Russia the opportunity to vote.[7]

Additional reading