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Voter turnout at Kyrgyzstan’s referendum exceeds 5%

The voter turnout at local elections as of 10:00 a.m. local time stood at 5.19%

BISHKEK, April 11. /TASS/. The voter turnout at the referendum on amending Kyrgyzstan’s constitution and at local elections as of 10:00 a.m. local time (07:00 a.m. Moscow Time) stood at 5.04% and 5.19%, respectively, the Central Election Commission said on Sunday.

As many as 181,801 voters cast their ballots at the referendum and 172,139 voters attended local elections.

The referendum will be considered as valid if more than 30% of voters take part. Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov has already cast his vote.

"For the first time in the history of the Kyrgyz Republic’s independence people have received the right to choose the system of government," President Sadyr Japarov said in his address to the nation. According to him, changing the republic’s key law is long overdue. "The new draft constitution was prepared with the assistance of the scientific community, active and prominent representatives of the society," he noted.

Kyrgyzstan is holding a referendum on constitutional amendments and local elections in a peaceful manner, the Central Asian republic’s Ministry of Internal Affairs told TASS on Sunday.

"For almost three hours since the beginning of the voting, no serious violations of public order have been registered on the republic’s territory," a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated. According to her, the socio-political situation in Kyrgyzstan is "under the control" of law enforcement agencies.

Furthermore, Kyrgyzstan’s Interior Ministry warned that it would curb all attempts to disrupt public order and destabilize the situation. "In such cases, some appropriate measures will be taken against the violators," the ministry noted, warning citizens against posting provocative or false messages about the situation in the republic in messengers and social networks. As many as 9,000 police officers, who are assisted by several thousand people's militias, are monitoring the rule of law and order on Kyrgyzstan’s elections.

On April 11, a referendum on constitutional amendments and local elections are held in Kyrgyzstan, which has 3.6 mln eligible voters. The vote will be over at 08:00 p.m. local time (05:00 p.m. Moscow Time). Among other things, the proposed amendments vest the president with greater powers and reduce the number of lawmakers in the country’s parliament from 120 to 90. In case of a successful vote, the head of state will get full control of the government and will be able to appoint and sack ministers.

Simultaneously with the referendum, the Central Asian republic is holding elections to regional councils. Some 18,772 candidates are running for 7,560 seats in 420 councils in the cities and villages. Sixty-three of them were registered by political parties, and others are self-nominated candidates.