Kyrgyzstan Government and Politics

Kyrgyzstan a unified state, parliamentary-democratic republic under the Constitution of 2010.

On June 27, 2010, a new constitution was passed by referendum. According to the country’s new constitution, Kyrgyzstan is a parliamentary republic, giving parliament and prime minister greater authority than the presidential office. This is unique in the Central Asian context, where the other republics are characterized by an extremely strong presidential power. The 2010 Constitution replaced a 2007 constitution, which in turn replaced a previous 1993 constitution.

Kyrgyzstan Country Flag

Legislative power has been added to a national assembly, Zhogorku Kenesh (Supreme Council), with 90 members, who are elected in the general election for five years. The first real elections to the National Assembly in 2005 were marked by turmoil and widespread electoral fraud, which led to the regime change and the fall of President Askar Akajev. The formal basis for the regime change was that the Supreme Court refused to approve the new National Assembly and instead extended the mandate of the previous one, which consisted of two chambers.

The last parliamentary elections were held on October 4, 2015. The following parties were among those with the highest support: the Social Democratic Party (27.56 percent), Ata-Zjurt (20.26 percent), Kyrgyzstan (13.07 percent), Onuguu Progress (9.39 percent), Bir-Bol (8.59 percent) and Ata-Meken (7.08 percent).


Administratively, the country of Kyrgyzstan is divided into seven provinces (oblast or duban) as well as the capital Bishkek and the country’s next largest city, Osj. The provinces are governed by administrators appointed by the president.


The judiciary includes local courts and three higher courts – the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court. According to the new constitution, the courts must be independent. The judges of the supreme courts are appointed by the National Assembly on a proposal from the President.

Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy

Kyrgyzstan depends on its location and poverty on good relations with Russia and neighboring countries. President Akajev (1990-2005) tried in every way to integrate Kyrgyzstan into international and especially Western political structures. As part of the efforts to develop relations with the West, in order to become less dependent on Russia, Akajev visited Norway and other Nordic countries in 2003.

Officially, the country has strived to become a “European” country, while “the little Asian tigers” have been seen as possible role models and trading partners. By contrast, President of the period 2011–2017, Almazbek Atambayev, presented himself as a pro-Russian politician who wanted to strengthen relations with Russia and Turkey.

The Kyrgyz are closely related to the Kazakhs, and the relations with Kazakhstan are good. On the other hand, there is great skepticism towards Uzbekistan, which is suspected of regional hegemony aspirations. Kyrgyz authorities are concerned that the civil war in neighboring Tajikistan may spread to their territory and contribute a smaller contingent to a joint peacekeeping force of the USSR on the Tajik- Afghan border.

Kyrgyzstan’s decision to introduce its own currency in 1993 created irritation in neighboring countries and resulted in a temporary economic blockade from Uzbekistan. When Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan established a “common economic space” in January 1994, Kyrgyzstan was still allowed to participate. Kyrgyzstan also participates in several other regional cooperation projects in Central Asia and with other countries of the former Soviet Union. In April 1996, Kyrgyzstan embarked on a new integration project with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

The terrorist attack in the United States on September 11, 2001, strengthened the regime’s position above the outside world. Kyrgyzstan joined the “war on terror” with new security ties with the United States. During the war in Afghanistan, the United States made extensive use of the Manas airbase outside Bishkek. In 2003, Russia was able to establish another air base in the metropolitan area, just 30 kilometers from the US. Manas was also the operating base for six Norwegian F-16 fighters who in 2002–2003 decamped the airspace over Afghanistan.

An international counterterrorism center was established in Bishkek in 2002. The reason for this was the fear of militant Islamists in the region. Armed Islamists have repeatedly invaded Kyrgyzstan since the 1990s.

In the Fergana Valley, a very densely populated area where various groups of people compete for land and water, there are unresolved border disputes between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The countries also contend with the river water flowing from the Kyrgyz mountains down to the Uzbek plain. As a result, Uzbekistan has occasionally suspended its gas supplies to Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan also borders the politically troubled Xinjiang province in China. Islamist separatists from the Uighur people sometimes hide in Kyrgyz territory, and there have been clashes along the border. Relations with China were tense for a long time, but improved after the countries agreed in 2004 to resolve old border disputes by re- demarcating its 1,100-kilometer border. Fears of Islamic separatist movements have prompted Kyrgyzstan, along with Russia, China and other neighboring countries, to conclude a cooperation agreement against terror within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Kyrgyzstan’s defense

It is public duty for men of 18 years of age, with initial service of 18 months. The country has been participating in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program since 1994. The total force numbers for Kyrgyzstan’s armed forces are 10,900 active personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, there are 9500 semi-military, of which 5,000 border guards, 3500 internal security forces, and 1,000 in the National Guard. Russia has military forces in the country, with about 500 personnel, 13 attack aircraft, and two helicopters.


The army’s strength is 8500 active personnel. Materials include 150 tanks of a T-72, 30 reconnaissance vehicles, 320 armored vehicles, 55 armored personnel carriers, and 42 self-propelled artillery (which 24 self-sustaining air defense artillery). In addition, the army heavy artillery, anti-aircraft missiles short range and short range air defense artillery.

Air Force

The Air Force has a personnel force of 2400 active personnel. Materials include six light transport aircraft, four L-39 Albatros training aircraft that can also be used as light attack aircraft, and ten helicopters (including two Mi-24 combat helicopters). In addition, the Air Force has medium range air defense missiles.

International operations

In 2018, Kyrgyzstan participated in UN operations in Sudan with an observer (UNAMID), and in South Sudan (UNMISS) with an observer.

Kyrgyzstan Head of Government

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