Kyrgyzstan: Notes - Archontology

Kyrgyzstan: Notes


Art. 19 of the Constitution of Kyrgyz ASSR (1929) defined Kyrgyz and Russian as state languages and made it obligatory to publish legislative acts in both. The Constitutions of 1937 and 1978 did not assign any official status to any language, but Art. 25 of the 1937 Constitution and Art. 103 of the 1978 Constitution provided for publication of legislative acts in Kyrgyz and Russian. The Law on State Language of Kyrgyz SSR granting the status of "state language" (мамлекеттик тили - mamlekettik tili) to Kyrgyz was passed 23 Sep 1989 and took effect 1 Oct 1989. In this law, Russian was described as the language of interethnic communication (Art. 4), but refused to be given any official status. These provisions were reiterated later when a new Law on State Language was passed by Kyrgyz Parliament 12 Feb 2004 (signed by President of the Republic 2 Apr 2004, effective with publication in Èrkin Too 6 Apr 2004). Russian was upgraded to "official language" (расмий тили - rasmij tili) according to the Law on Official Language passed by Parliament 25 May 2000 (signed by President of the Republic 29 May 2000, effective with publication in Èrkin Too 31 May 2000).

Polity Style

The Declaration of State Sovereignty (Кыргыз Республикасынын мамлекеттик эгемендүүлүгү жөнүндөгү Жардыгы) of 15 Dec 1990 introduced the style Кыргыз Республикасы (Kyrgyz Respublikasy), but it was not finally endorsed until 5 Feb 1991 when a Constitutional amendment became effective. The use of Russian as lingua franca in official documentation at that time required to find an equivalent to the polity style in the state language. Accordingly, Республика Кыргызстан (Respublika Kyrgyzstan) was chosen instead of more correct in terms of grammar Кыргызская Республика (Kyrgyzskaja Respublika), probably to placate the Russian-speaking community by excluding a reference to ethnic origins of the style. The offices of Head of State and Head of Government were semi-officially recorded as Президент Республики Кыргызстан (Prezident Respubliki Kyrgyzstan) and Премьер-министр Республики Кыргызстан (Prem'er-ministr Respubliki Kyrgyzstan) respectively. Despite the lack of statutory recognition, all these terms in Russian had a wide currency in official context, including international agreements, and were valid between 15 Dec 1990 and 5 May 1993. The promulgation of the Constitution of 5 May 1993, which reaffirmed the style Кыргыз Республикасы (Kyrgyz Respublikasy), terminated this practice. Since then, all Russian equivalents normally include a reference to Кыргызская Республика (Kyrgyzskaja Respulika) if required. The alteration of the official status of Russian to "official language" in 2000 did not bring any changes to the styles.

Coup d'état (2005)

As a result of unrest in the regions and the storming by demonstrators of the seat of presidency in Bishkek, Askar Akaev fled the country 24 Mar 2005 creating de facto vacancy in the office. Article 52 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic of 1993 (as amended in 2003) designated only one constitutional successor - Кыргыз Республикасынын Премьер-министри (Kyrgyz Respublikasynyn Prem'er-ministri), although the application of this article would be valid only in cases of resignation, dismissal following impeachment, illness or death. Nikolaj Tanaev, who held the office of prime minister at that time, also left Kyrgyzstan 24 Mar 2005.

The registration of the newly elected national parliament (Кыргыз Республикасынын Жогорку Кеңеши - Kyrgyz Respublikasynyn Žogorku Keņeši) which had been inaugurated 22 Mar 2005 at a solemn meeting (not a formal session) was cancelled due to election irregularities by the resolution of the Supreme Court passed at about 20:00 24 Mar 2005. The resolution also extended to 15 Apr 2005 the powers of the old parliament consisted of two chambers - Мыйзам чыгаруу жыйыны (Myjzam čygaruu žyjyny) and Эл өкүлдөр жыйыны (Èl ôkùldôr žyjyny). However, only one chamber, Myjzam čygaruu žyjyny, was able to reach quorum at its meeting lasting between 21:00 and 24:00 24 Mar 2005. The chamber accepted the resignation of its speaker (төрага - tôraga), Abdygany Èrkebaevič Èrkebaev (original: Абдыганы Эркебаевич Эркебаев, in office 14 Apr 2000 - 24 Mar 2005), and elected Išenbaj Dùjšônbievič Kadyrbekov (original: Ишенбай Дүйшөнбиевич Кадырбеков, in office 24 Mar 2005 - 28 Mar 2005) who immediately took office. Since the government ceased to function, the legislators passed a resolution on transferring the executive authority to Эл биримдиги координациялык Кеңеши (Èl birimdigi koordinaciâlyk Keņeši) which worked mostly as crisis management board during the coup. Upon leaving the meeting of Myjzam čygaruu žyjyny before midnight 24/25 Mar 2005, a prominent deputy made some comments to local media claiming that Kadyrbekov was appointed speaker and thus became acting president of the Republic, erroneously referring to a nonexistent constitutional provision. The claim was repeatedly echoed in the media and became an urban legend of the time. All actions of the speaker and the documents he signed (resolutions No. 1932-II, 1933-II) prove that he neither claimed the position of head of state, nor acted in such capacity. Although another chamber, Èl ôkùldôr žyjyny, did not hold a session on that day, its speaker (Алтай Асылканович Борубаев - Altaj Asylkanovič Borubaev, in office 18 Apr 2000 - 26 Mar 2005) remained inactive and also refrained from claiming any executive authority.

The joint meeting of the two chambers opened in the early hours of 25 Mar 2005 and about 03:15 Kurmanbek Salievič Bakiev (original: Курманбек Салиевич Бакиев) was approved as Кыргыз Республикасынын Премьер-министри (Kyrgyz Respublikasynyn Prem'er-ministri) and Кыргыз Республикасынын Президентинин милдетин аткаруучу (Kyrgyz Respublikasynyn Prezidentinin mildetin atkaruuču), i.e. prime minister and acting president of the Republic. Amidst the confrontation between the old and new parliaments, the new Žogorku Keņeš convened for its first session and approved Bakiev in the office of prime minister (resolution No. 12-III of 28 Mar 2005) which theoretically enabled him to act as provisional head of state on the basis of dubious reading of the Constitution. The lower chamber (Myjzam čygaruu žyjyny) acquiesced in the decision by dissolving itself on 28 Mar 2005, and the upper chamber (Èl ôkùldôr žyjyny) followed the suit on 29 Mar 2005. The legitimization of the new regime was finalized with the acceptance of the resignation of Akaev when his handwritten request (dated 4 Apr 2005, proposed to be effective 5 Apr 2005) was considered and endorsed by Žogorku Keņeš (effective 11 Apr 2005).