22 September, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – To ensure fair and transparent parliamentary elections on October 4, 2020, UNDP Kyrgyzstan handed over biometric equipment for voter identification to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of the Kyrgyz Republic. The equipment was provided under the UNDP 2020-2021 Kyrgyzstan Electoral Support Program (KESP), funded by the Government of Japan.
The ceremony was attended by the CEC Chairwoman Mrs. Nurzhan Shaildabekova, UNDP Resident Representative Mrs. Louise Chamberlain, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Kyrgyzstan Mr. Shigeki Maeda.
CEC Chairwoman Mrs. Nurjan Shaildabekova noted, “We would like to express our utmost gratitude to UNDP and the Government of Japan for their assistance and support in holding elections in Kyrgyzstan. The use of IT equipment in electoral processes in Kyrgyzstan has proven effective in the course of the previous electoral cycle since 2015, and we hope that the upcoming Parliamentary Elections on October 4th of this year will also be held in a fair and transparent manner. The CEC, in turn, will continue making every effort to further improve the electoral process in Kyrgyzstan and make it more technologically advanced to meet all international standards.”
UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Louise Chamberlain, in turn, stressed, “Holding fair and transparent elections is one of the guarantees of the development of democracy. Since 2010, Kyrgyzstan has achieved success in this area thanks to the introduction of IT equipment into the electoral process. Throughout this time, UNDP has been assisting the Kyrgyz Government in holding elections as one of the leading development partner of Kyrgyzstan. UNDP strives to ensure that elections in Kyrgyzstan are held fairly and transparently and, will continue working on strengthening the democracy and parliamentary system in the Kyrgyz Republic.”
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the KR Mr. Maeda noted, “This is the second time for Japan to cooperate in the elections, following the grant of voter identification systems for the elections from 2015 to 2017. This time, we are again supporting the implementation of transparent elections through the provision of the same type of equipment and capacity building, which are both in the form of subsidizing UNDP projects. This time we are providing a grant of more than 4 Mil$, and the total amount is more than 10 Mil$ combined with the first time. Kyrgyzstan is a young country. It will take a lot of challenges and efforts to ensure that the elections, an important element of democracy, are conducted inclusively, transparently and fairly. First and foremost, I hope that the October elections will be carried out smoothly, without confusion”.
The handed over equipment is an addition to the equipment procured by UNDP back in 2015. It will replace those pieces of equipment which are no longer functional or became obsolete. Additionally, considering the latest amendments in the Kyrgyz electoral laws that provide for the transfer of functions of the State Registration Service (SRS) of the Kyrgyz Republic on organizing and holding the elections to the CEC, the UNDP KESP Program also aims to support activities associated with the transfer of the responsibilities from the SRS to CEC, in particular by training the CEC personnel in the wider inclusion of constituents into voter lists.
The UNDP Electoral Support Program plans to hold wider trainings for the CEC and SRS personnel on the use of equipment.