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How Election was Held in Kyrgyzstan During Pandemic

On October 4, the election of the 7th convocation of parliamentarians was held in Kyrgyzstan. For the first time, the election took place amid the pandemic. 


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Despite the epidemiologic situation, the citizens of Kyrgyzstan came out to vote for deputies of Zhogorku Kenesh. According to the Central Election Commission, the voter turnout was 56.2 per cent. Moreover, more active voters were in Osh – 68.3 per cent of Kyrgyzstanis came to the polls. 

For the first time, election in Kyrgyzstan took place amid coronavirus pandemic and sanitary measures. Before the election day, the Central Election Commission developed the algorithm of actions to ensure sanitary and health safety as there is still a risk of transmission for large gatherings in the country. 

In Bishkek, people stood at the entrance to the polling place to check body temperature and spread sanitizer. Special mats filled with disinfectant solution were placed on the threshold. 

According to a chair of one of commissions, they made sure it was clean and the regime was followed.

“We have sanitizers at the entrance, we provide free of charge medical masks, disposable gloves and boot covers. We clean the floor and dust furniture every hour. Also, we had full decontamination of premises yesterday,” he said.

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The algorithm issued by the Central Election Commission recommended to keep 1.5-2-meter distance both outside and inside voting places. However, the recommendations were hardly followed. At one of the voting place in Kirghizia-2 residential area, people crowded near the entrance and failed to keep distance between each other. However, they tried to stand with more distance between each other after a police officer admonished them.

“We are trying to monitor large gatherings just to make them maintain their health and health of those around them, but people often ignored us and were angry in response,” one of police officers said.

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Despite this fact, many voting places managed to monitor voters and not to endanger their health.

“I took a mask with me and I have a sanitizer. But as far as I could see, they distributed masks here. As I saw, sanitary norms were followed properly,” one of the voters commented.

In Bishkek, members of the commission and observers were wearing masks or special protection suits, just like all police officers. According to them, people did not opposed and the majority took these procedures quietly.

In Issyk-Kul region, 248 voting places worked on the election day. Local administrations provided buildings or temporary premises, necessary furniture and office equipment to the members of commission.

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At the entrance to polling places, voters went through a regular procedure – body temperature measurement, hand sanitizing. The majority came in their masks, and those who did not have them were given masks and disposable gloves. 

The voting premises were regularly disinfected following sanitary and health requirements.

Large crowds of voters gathered near polling stations in the morning, stood close to each other, and did not keep the distance. Only near the entrance, police officers made voters keep the distance. 

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In the city of Osh, voters did not keep the distance and health requirements. At station No. 5606, people crowded at the entrance. 

Despite the requirement not to take children, some voters came to vote with kids.

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At some parts of Osh and Uzgen, members of the commission did not put on gloves during work and let people without masks in. 

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In Batken, many voters came to polling stations without masks and received them on site. Here, no gatherings and crowds were seen. At the entrance, health officers reminded about safety measures and asked to keep the distance.

According to the Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan, 2,017 new Covid-19 cases were registered on October 5 in the country. The total number of registered cases during the whole period was 47,635. 

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