Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Kyrgyz Constitution

Yesterday, Kyrgyzstan's Parliament passed a new Constitution which curtails Presidential powers. I don't know enough about Kyrgyz political issues to determine whether this is really Central Asia's Magna Carta, but in general, anything that moves a country away from having an authoritarian executive is good. (When you look at the history of democracies, Parliamentary systems are far more durable, despite the counter-example of the United States.) I also agree with these conclusions:
"By all measures, the ongoing instability in Kyrgyzstan represents a significant political change. While it is easy to misinterpret events in Kyrgyzstan as being signs of a failing state, the opposition has behaved bravely, constructively, and in a quite organized manner. According to various reports, For Reforms finances their activities through investments by the bloc’s key leaders, many of whom have backgrounds in business.

"It remains to be seen whether the new constitution will in fact prevent the current and future Kyrgyz presidents from authoritarianism and corruption, empower the parliament, and make the judiciary system more independent. However, the November 8, 2006, Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the most progressive documents in the Central Asian region and among all former Soviet states. In this context, the role of the March 24 Tulip Revolution in 2005 is significant. It reassured Kyrgyz political actors that joining forces and acting within the law would encourage the central government to compromise. Furthermore, while Bakiyev’s regime was on the brink of collapse, both the government and the opposition avoided a complete failure of the state apparatus...

"Not having experienced modern statehood and democratic governance, Kyrgyzstan now appears to be in the process of forming a new political culture."

I've questioned the democratic bona fides of some opposition leaders, but on the other hand, by pushing for a more democratic process to resolve issues between them, they're effectively setting up a democracy. What remains to be seen is how they will act when the tables are turned.

(Crossposted to American Footprints.)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home