The Kyrgyz Republic has a parliamentary form of government designed to limit presidential power and enhance the role of parliament and the prime minister. During presidential elections on October 15, the nation elected former prime minister and member of the ruling party, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, to succeed outgoing President Almazbek Atambaev. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) described the elections as competitive and well administered, but it noted room for improvement in the legal framework to prevent misuse of public resources in election campaigns and to effectively deter vote buying.
Civilian authorities at times did not maintain effective control over the security forces, particularly in the provinces of Jalal-Abad and Osh.
The most significant human rights issues included law enforcement and security services officers’ use of torture and arbitrary arrest; increasing pressure on independent media; harassment of journalists; selective and politically motivated prosecutions; pervasive corruption; forced labor; and attacks, threats, and systematic police-driven extortion of sexual and ethnic minority groups.
Official impunity was a significant problem. While authorities investigated reports of official abuse in the security services and elsewhere, they rarely prosecuted and punished officials accused of human rights violations, or complicity in trafficking.