The Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan
Chairman: Almazbek Atambayev, deputy prime minister in the interim government (2010), prime minister (2007), minister of industry, trade, and tourism (2005-2006), member of parliament (1995-2000).
Forecast for the October 10 parliamentary elections: Independent political analysts in Kyrgyzstan expect the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan to win no more than 10 percent of votes in the country, with a slightly higher percentage of votes in the Issyk-Kul, Naryn, and Chui regions and the city of Bishkek.
Brief History and Major Highlights:
The Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) was founded in 1993 by Abdygany Erkebaev, who served as its first chairman and was replaced by Almazbek Atymbayev in 1999. In October 2004, the party merged with the larger El Party in preparation for the February 2005 parliamentary elections. The party played an important role in the Tulip Revolution of 2005, and in large-scale public protests against the Bakiev government in April and November 2006. A leading parliamentarian, Temir Sariev, joined the party in 2006, but left in 2007 due to a disagreement with Atambayev. The party chairman, Almazbek Atambayev ran for the presidency in 2000 and 2009 but was unsuccessful. The party calls for a socially oriented policy of development and supports the establishment of a parliamentary system of politics in Kyrgyzstan.
• The party was founded on October 1, 1993, and registered with the Ministry of Justice on December 16, 1994.
• 2000 presidential election: Atambayev won 6 percent of the vote and came in third behind President Askar Akayev and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Omurbek Tekebayev.
• 2007 parliamentary elections: 188,585 votes, 11 seats won.
• 2009 presidential elections: Atambayev ran in the campaign but withdrew his candidacy on election day, citing election fraud and declaring the elections illegitimate. According to the official results, he was the runner-up behind President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
• The party is registered to participate in the October 10, 2010 parliamentary elections.
Political Platform: The party’s website lists the following as its political platform.
• Just Power: Establish a social state on the basis of securing economic rights of workers and create an effective system of social security, including free education and healthcare, as well as high standards of social support (pensions, wages, and student stipends).
• Political Reform: Clearly separate presidential, legislative, and judicial powers; provide guarantees of equal property rights by making personal property inviolable; award citizens the right to receive compensation if their rights and freedoms are violated, or if damage is caused by the state’s illegal actions; hold officials civilly and criminally responsible for their decisions and actions; support ethnic minorities unconditionally.
• Judicial reform: Provide independence for the courts as the basis of the state structure; accelerate judicial reform by freeing the courts from any political or other influences.
• Administrative reform: Decrease the number of state officials, eliminate redundancy in government agencies; provide political neutrality and stability of state service; secure decentralization of power and implement direct election of mayors and heads of local governments.
• Mass media: Secure the public’s free access to information about the government’s activities; develop free, politically independent mass media; limit private ownership to one television channel.
• Economics: Provide state support to industrial and communications spheres; promote the development of the energy sector; support domestic agriculture; protect private entrepreneurs and investors; increase incomes by reducing taxes; develop the Issyk-Kul area; encourage and assist private home ownership by creating a state-supported mortgage program.
• Social Issues: Improve and modify the pensions system; dramatically improve social security, healthcare, and education; reverse labor migration trends; protect the environment and promote “green” industries and programs.