Observing or participating in regime change? Kyrgyz perspectives on the role of international election observation missions in 2005
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Original versionWorking Paper, NUPI nr 696. NUPI, 2006
This report offers an in-dept analysis of the role of international election observation missions in during the political upheavals in Kyrgyzstan in 2005. It presents the work of three leading, young academics from Kyrgyzstan. The report forms part of the ‘NUPI Network for Election Observation and Exchange’. This is project that is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The starting point for the assessments presented here is the realisation that international election observer missions played a central part in the events that eventually lead to the toppling of President Askar Akaev’s administration in march 2005. Kyrgyzstan is also a case that highlights the immense challenges that face election observation missions in non consolidated democracies of the former Soviet Union. Many of these countries, Kyrgyzstan included, have developed traditions of deep-seated and sophisticated manipulation of election procedures. Given these preconditions, the three articles aim to assess from differing perspectives how election observation was conducted in the country in 2005.