May 20, 2015
On May 20, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide grant aid of up to 740 million yen for the Project for Automation of Voters’ Identification Process during the Electoral Cycles from 2015 to 2017.
This project will support fair and transparent elections by providing equipment for confirming voter identity and strengthening the capacity to use that equipment in the electoral cycle from 2015 to 2017 for electing the Supreme Council and president. JICA will provide the UNDP with funds that will be used to implement this project under the supervision of the UNDP in Kyrgyzstan.
Since the middle of the 2000s, the Kyrgyz Republic has undergone two political changes in the form of the Tulip Revolution in 2005 and the political change in 2010, resulting in a new constitution that was established by popular vote in 2010 and the introduction of a parliamentary democratic government, making the Kyrgyz Republic the most democratically advanced country in Central Asia. However, democracy has only a short history in the Kyrgyz Republic, and many challenges, including alleged election corruption and double voting have been identified. It is therefore important to hold fair elections to raise the confidence that residents have in the electoral process and establish democracy.
Given these circumstances, the Central Election Commission and the State Registration Service are advancing preparations toward registering and verifying new voters, and establishing a voting system for the parliamentary elections in fall 2015, local elections in 2016 and the presidential election in 2017. The new system aims to introduce large-scale information communication technology devices for a higher level of transparency and fairness in the voter verification, voting, tabulation and result announcement processes.
This project will provide equipment to verify voter identity and strengthen the capacity to use that equipment throughout the Kyrgyz Republic as part of the establishment of a new voting system.
Specifically, this project will provide training to approximately 300 people to be trainers (representatives of the Central Election Commission and the State Registration Service) in conjunction with installation of the equipment, and those trainers will then train workers around the country, which is expected to strengthen the overall capacity of the Central Election Commission and the State Registration Service. Through this project, it is expected that the elections will be held in a fair and transparent manner with some 3.5 million voters at the polls.
This project is being conducted in response to a request from Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaevat of the Kyrgyz Republic to Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan at the Fifth Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Central Asia plus Japan Dialogue held in July 2014.