Resolution on the upcoming constitutional referendum in Kyrgyzstan

Press release
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We, members of the FIDH International Board, express our concern over the worsening situation with human rights and freedoms in Kyrgyzstan and consider that the upcoming Constitutional Refendum will negatively impact democratic principles of Kyrgyzstan, in particular the rule of law, the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, and human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The stability of the Constitution is the most important condition for a state’s development, a robust rule of law, and guarantees of compliance with human rights and freedoms. The Government of Kyrgyzstan, however, has called for a referendum to amend the Constitution, in violation of the existing moratorium on introducing amendments until 2020.

In spite of an independent analysis conducted by lawyers from the FIDH member organisation in Kyrgyzstan "Legal Clinic "Adilet" and a joint opinion by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and by the Venice Commission, a referendum was scheduled for 11 December 2016.

We believe that the very idea of and call for a constitutional referendum without wide-ranging public discussions and recommendations from academic circles, civil society, and Kyrgyz citizens is dangerous and carries numerous risks for peaceful and democratic development.

We therefore call the authorities of Kyrgyzstan to:

- Take heed of multiple civic initiatives calling for suspension of the referendum;
- Create a space for dialogue with the society on the questions related to political reforms;
- Support the creation of a Constitutional Assembly on the basis of non-discrimination and inclusiveness of the civil society whose task will be to analyse the current Constitution and build a social and political consensus on any future constitutional amendments.

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