Statement by President Obama on the Parliamentary Elections in Kyrgyzstan
I congratulate the people and government of the Kyrgyz Republic for carrying out orderly parliamentary elections yesterday. Above all, I congratulate the voters of Kyrgyzstan, who demonstrated by their participation in yesterday’s historic election that they are committed to selecting their government through peaceful, democratic means.
Election observers have reported some flaws and irregularities in the voting process, which must be investigated and corrected. Yet the election also demonstrated important and positive attributes of a genuine democracy – the campaign period was competitive and lively, domestic and international observers freely monitored the voting process on election day, and the outcome was still not known on the day of the vote. Through our assistance programs to the Kyrgyz government and civil society, and our participation in the election monitoring mission, I am pleased that the United States has played an active role in facilitating this democratic achievement.
Elections are only one instrument of democratic governance. The next phase in Kyrgyzstan’s democratic restoration should be the formation of a coalition government that can govern the country effectively and peacefully. Given recent tragic events in Kyrgyzstan, there are serious challenges ahead. Yet yesterday’s vote should give supporters of democracy in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia and around the world hope, and renews our conviction to help the courageous people of Kyrgyzstan consolidate their democracy, jumpstart their economy, and maintain peace and security.