On October 4, 2020, Kyrgyzstan held parliamentary elections.
The campaign had been overshadowed by accusations of vote-buying and manipulation that favored some political parties, and soon after the election results were released, outbreaks of public discontent began in the capital, Bishkek.
The government fell before sunrise on October 6, and since then the new leadership has implemented significant and often controversial changes.
In both domestic and foreign politics, it was one of the most turbulent 12-month periods Kyrgyzstan has experienced since independence in 1991.
Some inside and outside Kyrgyzstan question the motivations of the new leadership and the abilities of new President Sadyr Japarov and his senior officials to cope with the many challenges Kyrgyzstan is currently facing, from struggling against the spread of the coronavirus to a devastating crisis. drought which not only endangers food security but also prevents the country’s hydroelectric power stations from meeting electricity needs, until border problems with Tajikistan which led at the end of April to the first clash between two armies of Asian states central since independence.
And new legislative elections are scheduled for the end of November.
In this week’s Majlis podcast, RFE / RL’s head of media relations, Muhammad Tahir, hosts a discussion of last year’s turmoil in Kyrgyzstan.
This week’s guests are: from Bishkek, constitutional lawyer Saniya Toktogazieva; also from Bishkek, Emil Joroev, political analyst and professor at the American University of Central Asia; and Bruce Pannier, author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.
Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to Majlis on iTunes Or on Google Podcasts.