Kyrgyzstan: The Die is Cast

The Central Elections Commission confirmed that Kyrgyzstan's presidential election were valid in the late evening on October 30. Over 51% of Kyrgystanis have voted across the country (a little over 3 million voters). The elections were observed by 792 international observers from 56 countries.

Election day has revealed two main problems: visible thumb marking and voters’ lists. The experiments of Kyrgyzstanis quickly proved that the marking on the voters’ thumbnails can be easily washed off. The voters’ lists were incorrect and many voters couldn’t find themselves in the lists despite having registered.

Marking issues

Both online and offline Kyrgyzstan were full of complaints about various violations, poor marking and inconsistent voters’ lists. After first hours of voting and checking visible green marking virtual Kyrgyzstanis immediately set up an experiment how to remove marking and posted their results.

The marking on voters’ thumbnails is almost invisible on polished nails.

The marking on voters’ thumbnails is almost invisible on polished nails.

Twitter user Esen Jumanov said [ru]:

It seems that marking is just a green marker. Let me try to wash it off!

The Kazakh journalist and election observer Gulim Amirkhanova experimented with marking and said [ru]:

The marking was half washed off with wet paper from the nail but it is still visible on the skin

Diesel Forum user npokuror312 posted [ru]:

Overall, there is no sign of marking in 30 seconds after applying the sandpaper.

Another forum user Neman replied [ru]:

You don’t need sandpaper. The marking can be easily washed off with alcohol-contained liquid.

The author also experimented with the marking. It revealed that the marking is almost invisible on the polished nails (see the photo above).

Twitter user @saida_sydykova complained [ru]:

What a bad marking I got! It was kind of green marker… the marking blackened and ruined my manicure.

Voting lists

The situation with voting itself and voters’ list wasn’t that amusing. Many voting stations were overcrowded and people had to stay in line to vote. Plenty of voters couldn’t find themselves in the voters’ list and left.

An observer at the Kyrgyz National University Nate Schenkkan tweeted [en]

At KG Nat'l Univ'y, too many voters, unable to enter hall, crowd pressed against entrance

Twitter user and the independent observer Aizhan Hodzhaeva said [ru]

Half of the votes hasn’t voted before afternoon time because of absence of their names in the voters’ list

Urmat Nasykulov complained [ru]:

There is a big claim to work of the local city hall's authorities. Many voters were not listed in the voters’ list.

Gulim Amirkhanova reported from Talas city [ru]

The voters have received voting notification but there are no their names in the voters’ list and they can’t vote

Twitter user Dilik666 criticized [ru]:

There is a mess at the voting stations. They should have prepared better. Long lines, slow registration.

An observer and Twitter user Mekajona claimed [ru]:

The fights and scandals between voters which haven't found themselves in the voters’ lists were observed. Bad work, the Central Elections Commission!

One of the presidential candidates Kubatbek Baibolov asked [ru]:

Do you still think this is a chance after hundreds of complaints about the voters’ lists and poor marking?

This politician was one of the most active politicians in his Twitter account during a day and provided a few photo evidences of the law violation.

By the end of day many users added up their impressions about elections. Michael Andersen posted on his Facebook:

Kyrgyzstan now has a new political SYSTEM – but the main CANDIDATES are the same old same old dodgy ones. And they want the ’good old’ system back. Of course – they and the people around them made fortunes from it, working with Akaev and Bakiev. The Kyrgyzstanzi deserves better, and hopefully they will get there – but it wil only happen if they – the young, the NGOs – manage to HOLD ON to the changes, the new democratic parliamentary system. Moving from ’elections’ to elections….. RESPECT!

Zafar Sulaymanov said:

Today is one of the most important dates in Kyrgyzstan's modern history! I hope,I pray that everything goes well…..we need fair elections, and we need good leader! I'm going to make my own choice in couple hours! so nervous….is it gonna make a difference…???? hope soo

Journalist Denis Berdakov explained [ru] his position:

I haven't voted today. It is my solid citizenship. I can't be responsible for the future of my country if I can't trust these people. There are no worthy candidates. There is no sense to vote against of all because I don't believe that elections are fair. I love my Kyrgyzstan, but I haven't gone to vote for nothing, I value my own voice!

An observer Andy Heil tweeted:

Has #Kyrgyzstan just pulled off the most democratic presidential vote in modern Central Asian history?

According to the latest reports from the CEC's website (10 pm by the local time on October 30) the leading candidates were Almazbek Atambaev (65, 6%), Kamchybek Tashiev (14,75%), and Adakhan Madumarov (13,7%).

The updated reports on the results of the election will follow shortly.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Stay up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details. Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site