June 15, 2008

Kyrgyz MPs Adopt Tougher Registration Rules to Cut Number of Parties

Excerpt from report by privately-owned Kyrgyz Channel 5 TV on 13 June

[Presenter] MPs discussed amendments to the law on rallies and demonstrations, the law on political parties and several other equally important draft laws at a parliamentary session today.

[Correspondent] They started with drafts initiated by [Deputy Speaker] Kubanychbek Isabekov. The first one stipulates a new system for licensing mining enterprises specializing in gold, silver and non-ferrous metals.

[Isabekov] How can it happen that a licence for gold mining costs the same - 300 soms [about 8 dollars] - as a licence for taxi drivers? I suggest adopting the following fees. A licence for gold mining would cost 6,000 soms [about 166 dollars] a year per hectare of used land, 4,000 soms for silver and 1,000 soms for other non- ferrous metals.

[Correspondent] According to calculations by the deputy speaker, increasing the licence fees would earn the budget up to 112,000 soms [about 3,000 dollars] annually. However, the law does not have a retroactive effect and it is impossible to renew the licence of Kumtor [gold mining company], for instance. The second draft law by Isabekov is also related to gold miners.

[Isabekov] Mining enterprises must pay a tax for using our water. Water is considered an article of commerce all over the world. Kumtor is taking water from Petrov's Lake [in northern Issyk-Kul Region]. So let them pay 0.5 per cent of its income.

[Passage omitted: MPs adopted both draft laws and discussed increasing the retirement age]

[Correspondent] The next item on the agenda was the law on political parties.

[Dinara Moldosheva, an MP] As you remember, in the past, in line with the current law, the wish and will of three people were enough [to set up a party]. Ten initiators could hold a founding meeting and a congress of a political party, thereby setting up a party. Now we suggest that at least a hundred founders must attend the founding meeting. One hundred people. And these one hundred people must include representatives of all regions, the cities of Bishkek and Osh. Besides, to register a party, as I said, regional branches must be registered in all regions and in Bishkek, and the regional branches must have at least 200 people each. This is an obligatory condition.

[Correspondent] Another important innovation is that all registered parties must run for parliament. And the state is obliged to pay off the campaigning expenses to those parties who get seats in the parliament. The aim of the law is not only to regulate the work of parties, but also to decrease their number. The law was adopted almost unanimously.

[Video shows a parliamentary session]

Originally published by Channel 5 TV, Bishkek, in Russian 1400 13 Jun 08.

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