Strasbourg, 12.03.2014 – On the basis of a report presented by Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC) – who finalised the work of the previous rapporteur, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu – the Political Affairs Committee, meeting in Stockholm, has today given the go-ahead for granting partner for democracy status to the Kyrgyz Parliament. PACE is to take a decision on this matter on 8 April this year, at its plenary session in Strasbourg.
“Kyrgyzstan, the only country in Central Asia to have chosen parliamentary democracy as the basis of its political system, has embarked on the path to democratic transition, and deserves full support,” said the committee. The parliamentarians also welcomed the introduction of “deep constitutional, institutional, political and legal reforms in order to strengthen democracy”, the abolition of the death penalty by Kyrgyzstan in 2007, and the efforts to promote women’s participation in politics – there are 28 women in the current parliament, making it 23% female.
There are still a number of issues of concern, however, with regard to the rule of law and respect for human rights. The draft resolution contains a list of the areas where further progress is needed, in particular: consolidating the institutional framework by enhancing the separation of powers and strengthening the role of the parliament; holding free and fair elections; fighting corruption, and reforming the justice system to ensure the independence of the judiciary. Other measures deemed essential include preventing torture, improving conditions of detention and promoting the rights of ethnic minorities. If the status is granted, PACE would review progress on the reforms within two years.
The Moroccan Parliament and the Palestinian National Council already have this status, established in 2009 for institutional co-operation with parliaments of non-member States in neighbouring regions wishing to benefit from the Assembly’s experience in democracy building and to participate in the political debate on common challenges which transcend European boundaries.