On 10 January, Kyrgyzstan held early presidential elections in conjunction with a referendum on the form of governance (transferring from the parliamentary to the presidential model). The controversial elections followed on from October's much-criticised parliamentary elections and amidst ongoing political turmoil that has reigned ever since.

The official vote count gave Sadyr Japarov an overwhelming victory with 79% of the vote, which was recognized by all international observer groups.

At the referendum, the voters also supported (by a majority of more than 80%) the transfer from a parliamentary republic to a presidential system. The next referendum, due to be held in February this year, will be of tremendous significance for international investors into Kyrgyzstan, given a new draft constitution may be approved, further enshrining the expanded powers of the President.

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