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Kyrgyz Republic

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A constitutional referendum was held in Kyrgyzstan on 21 October 2007. The constitutional changes voted on were those which had been passed since the Tulip Revolution in 2005 (in November and December 2006), but had been invalidated by the Constitutional Court of Kyrgyzstan on 14 September 2007;[1] in response, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev had called the referendum on 19 September 2007.[2][3] Furthermore, a change of electoral law was also proposed from first past the post to party-list voting, a change which is likely to see many of the independent politician and smaller parties eliminated from parliament.[3]

There were two separate questions: one asking for the approval of the new constitution, the other asking for the approval of the new electoral law. Analysts assumed that there would be early parliamentary elections in 2008 following the referendum, especially as Bakiyev had also announced that he would be founding a political party.[3] Bakiyev called early elections for December 2007 immediately after preliminary results indicated that more than 75% of voters had approved the changes, with an official turnout of 80%.[4]

According to observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), there were reports of numerous irregularities, observers being obstructed, and ballot-stuffing; it also said that popular awareness of what was at stake in the referendum was low and called into question the claimed high turnout rate. The United States embassy also had concerns and said that the vote fell short of international standards.[5]

e • d  Summary of the 21 October 2007 Kyrgyzstani constitutional referendum results
Options 1st question 2nd question
Votes % Votes %
In favour 2,078,748 76.19 2,077,030 76.14
Against 99,336 3.64 100,978 3.70
Total (turnout 81.58%) 2,201,034 100.00 2,201,034 100.00
Source: CEC


  1. ^ Bruce Pannier, "Kyrgyzstan: Court Ruling Restores 2003 Constitution", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, September 17, 2007.
  2. ^ "Kyrgyz leader calls referendum on Constitution change Oct. 21", RIA Novosti (, September 19, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c Bruce Pannier, "Kyrgyzstan: President Sets Referendum Date On New Constitution", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, September 19, 2007.
  4. ^ "Kyrgyz leader calls snap election", BBC News, October 22, 2007.
  5. ^ "'Many violations' in Kyrgyz vote", BBC News, October 23, 2007.


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