From the Document: "On November 28, 2021, the Kyrgyz Republic (commonly known as Kyrgyzstan) held parliamentary elections for the first time since the annulment of a disputed October 2020 electoral contest that led to unrest and political upheaval. The November 28 elections were the first to take place under a new constitution that significantly bolsters presidential powers at the expense of the legislature and that has drawn criticism [hyperlink] both for the manner in which it was adopted and for weakening checks and balances in the government. Kyrgyzstan has been considered by scholars and nongovernmental organizations as the most democratic country in Central Asia for most of the 30 years since its independence. It is one of 21 countries worldwide that participate in the House Democracy Partnership [hyperlink]. However, recent events have raised concerns about the future of democracy and rule of law [hyperlink] in the country. In 2021, Freedom House classified Kyrgyzstan as 'not free [hyperlink]' for the first time in 11 years. Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) deemed the November elections competitive but noted [hyperlink] that 'constitutional changes weakening parliament, subsequent extensive legislative changes to key aspects of the elections, a stifled campaign and overall voter disillusionment hindered meaningful engagement.' Some observers have raised concerns [hyperlink] for many about the consolidation of presidential power [hyperlink] in what was formerly Central Asia's only parliamentary republic. Nevertheless, populist [hyperlink] President Sadyr Japarov has mobilized significant support."
CRS Insight, IN11812
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/