Draft Report on the Kyrgyzstan Voter Education and Motivation Program
The Kyrgyz Republic has the potential to be a model of democratic development in Central Asia. It became independent in late 1991 and embarked upon the path toward democracy. However, events in the summer of 1994 caused some concern about the continued prospects for democratic development. The dissolution of parliament, a referendum establishing a bicameral parliament and a series of presidential decrees amending election laws appeared to reflect a shift from democratic reforms to a reassertion of presidential power.
The development of democracy in Kyrgyzstan has many obstacles, which include the lack of democratic traditions and lack of experience with democratic practices. In addition, the people are faced with growing economic inequality and poverty. While they have a tendency to defer to authority, the ethnic, regional, and clan loyalties and self-serving actions of former government officials challenge the momentum of continued democratic reforms.
Thus as democratic elections occur in Kyrgyzstan, it is important that the people recognize and understand the process and the progress being made, and how it will affect their country, their region, their families and their lives.
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