Overview

On October 15, 2017, presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan took place whereby around 56 percent of three million eligible voters made use of their civic right. The elections were an intensive political contest between Sooronbay Jeenbekov, a candidate with great experience in Kyrgyz administration and politics since the independence of the country in 1991, and Ömürbek Babanov, a post-Soviet oligarch. At the end, Jeenbekov took a comfortable win already in the first round of the  elections with 55 percent of the votes against Babanov with 34  percent. Election observers coming from OSCE-ODIHR, the European Parliament, as well as the parliamentary assemblies of OSCE and Council of Europe declared the elections in a joint statement as free and fair, which allows an orderly transition from an elected president to the next.

The new government now faces various challenges; one of  them is to boost the economic development in the country and to attract foreign investment. The government currently introduced a program called “40 steps into the  future”  to  create an investment-friendly environment for investors and works on a more transparent and open state. Additionally, a law for more tax security for investors has been adopted. As  member of the  Eurasian Economic  Union1, the Kyrgyz  Republic possesses access  to a large market of 200 million people and profits at the same time form a preferential access to EU markets under the GSP+ regime.

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Photo: "Kyrgyzstan backcountry" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by maekke