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COPENHAGEN, 10 October 2017 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is deploying a mission of 40 international observers, including 29 parliamentarians from 22 countries, to Kyrgyzstan for the 15 October presidential election. The observers arrive in Bishkek this week for several days of briefings before deploying to polling stations for election day observation.

Member of the Azerbaijani Parliament Azay Guliyev has been appointed as Special Co-ordinator of the short-term OSCE observer mission and Ukrainian parliamentarian Artur Gerasymov will lead the OSCE PA’s delegation of observers. Guliyev is a Vice-President of the Assembly and Gerasymov is Vice-Chair of the Assembly’s economic and environmental committee. Together with colleagues from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), Guliyev and Gerasymov will deliver the preliminary findings and conclusions of the mission the day after the election in Bishkek.

“This is the first election to be held in Kyrgyzstan since legal changes introduced by the December 2016 constitutional referendum and the 2017 amendments to the constitutional law on elections,” Guliyev said. “This election observation mission therefore has a special responsibility to take note of how these changes affect – for better or for worse – the democratic development of the country.”

“As international observers, we have an important role to play in providing additional transparency for the people of Kyrgyzstan,” added Gerasymov. “We look forward to offering an impartial assessment of the election and seeing first-hand the electoral climate in Kyrgyzstan. I hope to see the vote proceed in a calm and orderly manner.”

The OSCE PA has observed some 150 elections in more than 30 countries around the OSCE area, most recently leading a mission to Germany last month. The decision to observe the elections followed an official invitation from the Kyrgyz government and the PA’s participation in a pre-electoral visit to the country – organized by the OSCE/ODIHR – last May. The OSCE/ODIHR has deployed a mission led by Ambassador Alexandre Keltchewsky.

The election will be assessed based on democratic commitments contained in the OSCE’s 1990 Copenhagen Document. Key aspects of the election procedures that observers will pay attention to include free voting procedures, whether voters can cast their ballots in secrecy, and honest and accurate reporting of results. Observers will also consider issues related to the campaign and media atmosphere and whether all contestants are able to compete in a free and fair electoral environment.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 323 parliamentarians from 56 countries spanning, Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international co-operation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.

For more background on the OSCE PA’s election observation activities, please click here.