Democracy of Kyrgyzstan

Topics: Democracy, Askar Akayev, Kyrgyzstan Pages: 7 (2490 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Democracy of Kyrgyzstan
Is Kyrgyzstan a democratic country or is it still an authoritarian regime? Different experts might have different answers and opinions to this question. In order to find an accurate answer to this question, it is important to know profound definitions of both democracy and authoritarian regime. As a student who is still learning about democracy, I define democracy as a political system in which citizens have the power to elect politicians to present them, through a free and fair election. Also, I define an authoritarian regime as a political system in which government has the authority and the supreme power. In recent years several countries have made the transition from an authoritarian regime to democracy. Kyrgyzstan was one of such country that became democratized in the very recent days. Kyrgyzstan became democratized mainly because of the political, technological and economic changes that occurred within the county between 1991- 2010; however, during the transition process Kyrgyzstan faced a number of huge problems, which would possibly continue at least for another few years before Kyrgyzstan can settle down as a successful democratic country. Political changes that took place since the independence of Kyrgyzstan in 1991 played an important role in Kyrgyzstan’s transition from an authoritarian regime to a country of democracy. In 1991 Kyrgyzstan gained its independence after being a part of Soviet Union for about 70 years. In 1991 Askar Akayev became the President of Kyrgyzstan and his government soon introduced new economic and political systems to Kyrgyzstan. Akayev’s government believed that their new approaches would lead Kyrgyzstan to democratization in the few coming years. This was the initial step of the transition towards democratization. However, during the period of 1991-1994 these changes did not have much impact on their goal to become a democratic country. That was mainly because Kyrgyzstan was not ready for democracy by then. For instance, Kyrgyzstan became independent in an unexpected time; therefore, citizens did not have a good background or knowledge about how the political system of a democratic independent country works. As a result, citizens of Kyrgyzstan did not actively participate in this new political system. Further, during this period Kyrgyzstan also had to deal with landownership disputes and problems with its constitution. In 1994, with help of foreign experts, a western-type constitution was introduced. Since most western countries have already become democratized prior to this time introducing a western-type constitution was another major step towards democracy in Kyrgyzstan. However, due to lack of participation by people in the political system, President Akayev and his government kept the supreme power and authority even though their original plan was to establish democracy in Kyrgyzstan. From 1991 to 2004, there were a few elections and the constitution changed repeatedly; however, those did not have much impact on leading Kyrgyzstan towards democracy. Even though Kyrgyzstan started the transition towards democracy in 1991, it did not make any significant changes towards democracy until around 2004. It is true that President Akayev and his government took steps in order to lead Kyrgyzstan towards democracy, but those were certainly not enough when consider the long time period that they govern Kyrgyzstan. In 2003, with access available to information through public media and the internet, people in Kyrgyzstan slowly started to realize that President Akayev and his government are controlling the country with massive authority. They also realized that only the politicians and wealthy people receive economic benefits and that the middle class and the poor were completely opt out. Soon, people of middle classes started protesting against President Akayev and his government; as a result, President Akayev resigned and Kurmanbek Bakyiev came to power as the new...

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