Views expressed here are the views of the national delegation and do not always reflect the views of the Group as a whole

Statement by Ms Laima Andrikienė, Chair of the EP election observation delegation, on 15 October 2017 Presidential elections in Kyrgysztan

Laima Liucija ANDRIKIENĖ
16.10.2017 - 16:20
Laima Liucija Andrikienė MEP

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

I am Laima Andrikienė, Chair of the European Parliament Election Observation Delegation and also Vice-President of our standing Delegation for relations with Central Asia, and it is my pleasure to have this opportunity to speak to you today.

The European Parliament, the only directly elected body of the EU, represents 500 million European citizens and is committed to strengthening democracy all over the world. Election observation is one of our key foreign policy instruments in this process.

Prior to Election Day, we met in Bishkek with both your Prime Minister and your Foreign Minister, as well as with the election authorities, political parties, media and civil society and of course with our ambassadors. In these meetings we familiarised ourselves with the situation ahead of the elections.

On Election Day we observed voting in various polling stations across the country, from the opening to the closing of activities, as well as the vote count. We divided into three teams, deployed in Bishkek, Balykchy and Kara Balta, visiting both urban and rural areas.

I would like to make some specific remarks:

  • As a Delegation, we were integrated within the framework of an International Election Observation Mission. I would like to thank my colleagues from the OSCE/ODIHR, from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of the Europe and from the Venice Commission for our excellent cooperation during the Mission.
  • The European Parliament delegation fully supports and endorses the preliminary findings and conclusions of the Observer Mission.
  • I fully agree with the statements of my colleagues; the European Parliament has been observing elections in your country since 2005. This is a clear sign we think Kyrgyzstan is a unique example in the region, and that its democratic course should be encouraged.
  • I would therefore like to focus on a number of issues we saw in the campaign and on Election Day: we were concerned at the reports of undue restrictions being placed on media freedom, in particular the defamation claims against journalists, which adversely affected public debate and resulted in self-censorship. Even though TV debates were organised, which contributed to greater pluralism, overall television did not provide sufficient and unbiased news coverage of the campaign.
  • We welcome the important role played by civil society in civic and voter education, which increased the transparency of the electoral process. However we also heard reports of increasing pressure being placed on civil society in recent years; speaking for the European Parliament, we are deeply concerned about several criminal cases and imprisonment of members of the opposition.
  • Turning to EU Kyrgyzstan relations, I would like to stress that these elements are part of our regular dialogue with   Kyrgyzstan, also under the EU’s special incentive for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+).
  • We further welcome the adoption of a mandate in order for the EU to enter into negotiations leading to a new Comprehensive Agreement with Kyrgyzstan. Our principled engagement must be based on a commitment to undertake reforms strengthening democracy, fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary: in order for the EP to ratify the future agreement, progress on such issues will therefore be needed.
  • In this context, we look forward to the final OSCE/ODIHR report and the recommendations it will contain. The EP attaches great significance to them and will pay full attention to their implementation.


Esther Herranz García MEP and Nuno Melo MEP
18.10.2018 - 17:50

EPP Group promotes the role of youth in European agriculture

The EPP Group organised its fifth Congress of Young Farmers today to boost the role of young people in this crucial sector for Europe and to promote...
EPP Group highlights the EU’s long-term need for young farmers
18.10.2018 - 17:00

EPP Group highlights the EU’s long-term need for young farmers

The EPP Group held its fifth European Congress of Young Farmers in the European Parliament in Brussels. The number of young people taking up...
traffic on german autobahn,european cars and trucks
18.10.2018 - 10:32

Capping CO2 emissions: away with dirty trucks

EPP Group wants to limit CO2 emissions from trucks Today, the Members of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament voted in favour of a...
The map of Balkans under the magnifying glass
18.10.2018 - 09:32

EPP Group supports EU ambitions of Western Balkans

The EPP Group confirmed its support for the EU ambitions of the Western Balkan countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM, Kosovo, Montenegro...

Highlights of the week

22.10.2018 - 26.10.2018
Border Entry / Exit signage between UK and France

Schengen Information System

The European Parliament will vote on Thursday on its final approval of the improved Schengen Information System (SIS) which locates wanted persons...
Discarded and polluting plastic garbage on sand

Reducing plastic waste

The EPP Group is in favour of new rules to reduce plastic pollution in Europe. The rules will be voted on in the European Parliament on Wednesday....
Young woman drinking glass of water

Safer drinking water for all

We want everyone to have access to quality water that is affordable and safe. On Tuesday, MEPs will approve changes to the new law on water safety...


18.10.2018 - 09:00

XXI Annual EPP Group intercultural dialogue with churches and religious institutions

The XXI Annual EPP Group Intercultural Dialogue with Churches and Religious Institutions will be held in an...