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Kyrgyz election year heightens political uncertainty

Friday, May 5, 2017

Subject

Growing tensions as Kyrgyzstan heads towards elections.

Significance

Kyrgyzstan has seen a series of demonstrations in response to a clampdown on opposition ahead of the November 19 presidential election. President Almazbek Atambayev is not standing again but has acted to remove political opponents, probably to smooth the way for a nominated successor. Protests thus far have been too small and isolated to point to an impending uprising of the kind that ousted Kyrgyz presidents in 2005 and 2010.

Impacts

  • Atambayev will seek Moscow's support in the electoral process.
  • The economic outlook is stable in Kyrgyz terms, with 2017 growth expected to be slightly slower than last year's 3.8%.
  • Labour migration will support household incomes and thus help defuse one source of unrest.
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