The fifth week of preparation for the elections was marked by a candidate registration process. Out of the 17 political parties that submitted documents to the Central Election Commission, 15 have been registered and will participate in the elections and will be included in the ballot. One party was denied registration by the CEC due to failure to pay an electoral deposit, and another one for violating the procedures of nominating candidates.
Political parties can refuse to participate in the elections and get the deposit back until September 24, and can exclude some candidates from the lists until September 29. The campaign started on September 4th and will run until 8 am of October 3rd, after which there will be a day of silence. In the meantime, political parties can actively campaign for voters, including through the debates and free airtime on TV channels. Conducting an election campaign in a pandemic makes its own adjustments, political parties are recommended to conduct more campaigning in online formats, and if they conduct personal campaigning, then it is necessary to do this in compliance with all sanitary and epidemiological standards, observing social distancing, masking regime and, if possible, in an open air.
The Central Election Commission, in cooperation with UNDP and with the support of the governments of Germany, Switzerland and Japan, continues its trainings and awareness-raising activities. On August 28, in Osh – so-called southern capital of Kyrgyzstan, a public dialogue for political parties on financing election campaigns was held in cooperation with the Public Foundation “Civic Platform”. During the public dialogue, the issues of organizing the electoral process as well as registration of candidates’ lists were also raised. The participants had the opportunity to discuss all their questions with the Deputy Chairman of the CEC, who willingly answered all the questions raised.
This week, trainings for representatives of the media and civil society organizations on monitoring campaign financing were launched, which will be held in all regions. In total, there will be 8 trainings for the media and 10 trainings for non-profit organizations. These trainings are developed by an international political finance expert, which will allow participants to learn about international standards in the field of campaign finance, about restrictions on contributions and spending, disclosure of sources of campaign finance, reporting and oversight. In addition, participants learn how to monitor campaign finance, how to develop a methodology for such monitoring, and how to submit information on the results of such monitoring. Public oversight of campaign finance is just as important as government oversight of campaign finance and the disclosure of campaign finance violations (for example, voter bribery, use of prohibited funding sources, corruption, abuse of state resources, undue influence of the business community on the political life).
Participants of the Youth Laboratory took part in the TV show "Evening of a hard day", where they told what prompted them to participate in the competition. It turned out that it is important for young people to have their voices heard, because they know for sure that this is an only way, they can choose their future. During the discussion, participants reiterated that they care about the future of Kyrgyzstan, and in their materials, they wanted to convey a message to young people as well as all other citizens of the country that selling their votes is now equivalent to selling their future and the future of their children, since it is possible to say that politicians who use vote buying as a method to achieve power, are unlikely to conduct a fair policy in the interests of their country and people.
On September 4, the Central Election Commission held a ceremony of the official signing of the Memorandum between the political parties that registered the lists of candidates for participation in the elections of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, scheduled for October 4, 2020. This Memorandum was developed by the Central Election Commission with the support of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and UNDP and serves as a Code of Conduct, so called “gentlemen’s agreement” designed to outline acceptable methods of political struggle, campaign rules that complement legal provisions.
An innovation of this Memorandum is the voluntary regulation of the of candidates’ behavior in social media. In particular, political parties agreed not to use the power of social networks as a weapon against opponents, not to spread disinformation, to pay for political advertising from electoral funds and report on it, not to use figureheads to place political advertising on social media. 13 parties signed the Memorandum.