Japan and UNDP will help automate voter identification process in the upcoming elections in Kyrgyzstan

May 20, 2015

Head of UNDP in Kyrgyzstan Alexander Avanessov and Ambassador of Japan to Kyrgyzstan Takayuki Koike signed the agreement. Credit: Kairatbek Murzakimov / UNDP.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Governments of Japan and Kyrgyzstan today launched a new project to automate the voter registration and identification process during the Kyrgyzstan electoral cycle in 2015-2017. The project aims to provide Kyrgyzstan with modern electronic equipment to ensure proper registration and identification of voters, a key prerequisite for fair and transparent elections. The US$ 6.1 million project (740,000,000 JPY) is funded by the Government of Japan.

UNDP plans to procure 3000 laptops, 3000 finger print readers, a set of server and network equipment, 4000 thermal printers, 3000 power back-ups and 2500 wall monitors. They are part of the Electronic Voter Identification (EVID) technology that Kyrgyzstan plans to introduce for the Parliamentary elections planned in the fall of 2015. This technology uses biometric data collected by the State Registration Service to authenticate voters as they arrive at polling stations, and display voter names and photographs for polling staff, party agents and electoral observers to make sure that the right person is voting.

“We hope that this project will contribute to fair and transparent Parliamentary elections, elections to local councils and Presidential elections, and will help to further strengthen democracy in Kyrgyzstan” said Ambassador of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Takayuki Koike in his opening remarks during the grant signing ceremony held in Bishkek.

UNDP and the Japan International Cooperation Agency developed this project at the request of the Kyrgyz Republic to provide assistance in conducting democratic and transparent elections. As part of the project, State Registration Service and the Central Election Commission will be equipped with EVID technology that will enable more open and efficient voting process.

During the grant signing ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan Alexander Avanessov thanked the representatives of the Japanese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, JICA and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for constructive cooperation during the development of the project, which will cover all polling stations in the country with innovative voting technology.

“UNDP experts and staff will continue to work with all partners in order to select and procure all the technology the country needs within the dates agreed with the Kyrgyz Government” noted Alexander Avanessov.

The project, which is expected to last for one year, will also help strengthen capacity of the mentioned institutions to maximize effectiveness of these tools via specialized training of relevant staff.

During the ceremony, head of the Kyrgyz Republic President’s Administration Daniyar Narymbaev thanked the partners for their support and called the upcoming parliamentary elections a momentous event for the country. "We're all waiting for this event with a sense of excitement. We are preparing for it. It will be a test not only for the government, it will be a test for all citizens of the country" he said.

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic will ensure effective use of the equipment and provide oversight of relevant agencies as well as take responsibility for safety of the equipment during the inter-election period.

First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Tairbek Sarpashev noted that this technology has already passed the first test in local elections in Kyzyl Dyikan municipal elections where local voters and others had the opportunity to see the system in action. "For us public trust in the electoral process is extremely important" said Tairbek Sarpashev.

“I hope for further strengthening of bilateral relations between Japan and Kyrgyzstan that are on the path of developing parliamentary democracy and building partnership in various fields at different levels through implementation of this project” concluded Ambassador Takayuki Koike.

Contact information

For more information please contact Alexander Kashkarev, Programme Analyst, UNDP in Kyrgyzstan. E-mail: alexander.kashkarev@undp.org; tel: 611211; cell: 0 (770) 952095.

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