Gender and Kyrgyz new edition of election code

President Bakiev is offering Kyrgyz citizens to vote on a new election code in a referendum. The document is about 51 pages long and I have not read it all yet to make comments about its part on making the parliament more inclusive through the party lists. Based on the information from 24.kg news agency item, Bakiev noted that according to the new election code, the parties will be required form their party election lists with

1. Gender: no more than 70% of people of the same gender

2. Youth: At least 15% of people under 35

3. Different ethnic groups: 15% of people representing different ethnic groups.

This is the most important part of the code for me. I am wondering whether this information will be disseminated widely and whether the voters will actually know what they are voting for.

Culturally, elderly men are the most respected people and many Kyrgyz village-level decisions are made by informal courts and councils of aksakals (white beards, e.g. elderly men). Would the people who perceive young people or women as unable to make their own decisions say “yes” to the new election code?

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