The presidential campaign has started in Kyrgyzstan among candidates for the position of head of state, and elections for that are scheduled for January 10. The presidential elections will take place under very difficult economic and epidemiological conditions for this country, and against a backdrop of a plethora of events in 2020 – some of which were purely local in nature, and some had an impact across the entire region.
In particular, it is worth recalling the clashes that occurred along the nation’s borders with Tajikistan, two of which resulted in human casualties; on May 8, one of the sides even opened up mortar fire.
For a whole slew of reasons, Kyrgyzstan wound up in a difficult financial situation in 2020, and Chinese projects were suspended in this country, whose national debt owed to China is now more than $ 1.7 billion. In addition, the situation with the pandemic has demonstrated how critically Kyrgyzstan depends on foreign assistance, and namely from Russia, China, EU countries, and other foreign players.
After the results of the October 4 parliamentary elections were tallied, the third “October coup” took place. There were many reasons for this, including the repercussions of the pandemic and the financial and economic difficulties that went along with that. On top of that, the attempts to concentrate power in the hands of both the Jeenbekov presidential clan and the Matraimov clan (the Matraimovs are a clan of southern oligarchs that controls the transportation of goods from China to Kyrgyzstan) led to the fact that other clans reacted sharply to the threat posed to their prosperity, and actively joined the political struggle going on in the country.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the upcoming presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan are attracting the attention of not only the numerous domestic players, but also external ones; this was particularly evidenced by the significant number of candidates that were initially announced for the country’s presidency. In the final count, out of the more than 60 applicants who submitted documents to participate in the elections, which included politicians, businessmen, teachers, artists, and even the unemployed, the country’s Central Commission for Elections and Referenda registered 18 candidates for its highest office. Consequently, chiefly major businessmen and politicians with some kind of track record will be the ones competing for the presidency.