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The Kyrgyz Republic (“Kyrgyzstan”) became an independent state in August 1991. The Constitution was adopted on 5 May 1993 and subsequently changed several times. The current Constitution was adopted by referendum of 21 October 2007.


The Constitution has supreme legal force and direct application and governs the competences of inter alia the President of Kyrgyzstan, the legislature (the Jogorku Kenesh), the Government, central state bodies and local self-government as well as the judiciary. Furthermore, a section is devoted to human and civil rights and freedoms.

State power is based on the principle of separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches.

Kyrgyzstan is divided into administrative territorial units with the cities of Bishkek (capital) and Osh enjoying special status. The state language is the Kyrgyz language, but the Russian language is also used as an official language, cf. Article 5.

The President of Kyrgyzstan is elected by universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot for a period of 5 years. The same person may not be elected President for more than two consecutive terms.

The President is the head of State, appoints the Prime Minister, appoints and dismisses members of the Government, heads of administrative departments and other executive authorities, and appoints – in consultation with the Prime Minister – and dismisses heads of local state administration. The President also elects or submits candidates for election of the judiciary, cf. below on judicial power.

Further, the President inter alia directs the foreign policy, negotiates, signs and ratifies treaties, grants pardons, signs and promulgates laws, issues decrees and orders, call referenda, has the power to introduce state of emergency and declare state of war and is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The President enjoys immunity. The powers of the President may be terminated due to resignation or illness. Further, the President may be dismissed in case of high treason.

The legislative power is vested in the Parliament, the Jogorku Kenesh. The 90 deputies are elected by universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot for a period of 5 years.

The Jogorku Kenesh inter alia adopts laws, gives official interpretation to these, call Presidential elections, elects and dismisses a number of judges, Government officials and the Ombudsman, authorizes or annuls decrees of the President on states of emergency and state of war, may bring charges against the President and may express no-confidence in the Government and its individual members.

The Jogorku Kenesh may be dissolved by self-dissolution of no less than two-thirds of the total number of deputies.

The legislative initiative lies with the President, deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh, the Government or 30,000 voters.

Draft laws are introduced in the Jokorgu Kenesh. If a draft law provides for increased expenditure to be covered from the national budget the draft law may be adopted after the Government has determined a source of funding.

Laws are adopted by a majority of votes of the total number of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh. A special requirement of two-thirds applies to the adoption of constitutional laws, interpretation and amendments of these as well as laws altering the state borders.

If the President disagrees with a law adopted by the Jogorky Kenesh, the President may within one month return the law with his objections for re-examination. If the law after re-examination and within three months is approved in its previous version by the Jogorku Kenesh by at least two-thirds (or three-fourths for laws originally requiring two-thirds majority), the law shall be signed by the President within 14 days after its receipt.

The highest body of state executive power is the Government, which consists of the Prime Minister, vice-prime ministers, ministers and chairmen of state committees.

The Prime Minister is proposed to the President by the political party receiving over 50% of the mandates of deputies in election at the Jogorku Kenesh. If no party receives more than 50% of the mandates, the President instructs deputies from a political party to submit a candidate by forming a coalition of the majority of deputies. The President appoints the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister determines the structure of the Government and candidates for Government posts.

The Government decides on all matters of state administration not assigned to the President and the Jogorku Kenesh. It inter alia insures the enforcement of the Constitution and laws, issues decrees and instructions, conducts financial, investment and tax policy, prepares the budget, takes measures to preserve state sovereignty and territorial integrity and protect the constitutional structure, as well as measures on defence capacity, national and public security and rule of law.

The Jogorku Kenesh may express no-confidence in the Government in which case the President shall be entitled to dismiss the Government or express disagreement with the Jogorku Kenesh. If the President disagrees and the Jogorku Kenesh then adopts another decision expressing no-confidence in the Government, the President shall either dismiss the Government or call early elections to the Jogorku Kenesh. No-confidence may also be expressed in an individual member of the Government.

Local self-government system consists of inter alia local keneshes (elected by citizens resident in the territory of the corresponding administrative territorial unit), heads of villages districts, urban districts and cities of region significance (elected by local keneshes at the proposal of the head of the local state administration) and town mayors (elected by the local keneshes at the proposal of the President). The local keneshes inter alia ratify local budgets and programmes for socio-economic development and establish local taxes.

Judicial power is exercised solely by the courts consisting of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and local courts. Specialized courts may be established by constitutional law.

The Constitutional Court judges and the Supreme Court judges are elected by the Jogorku Kenesh at the proposal of the President of Kyrgyzstan. They may be dismissed early from office by a majority vote of no less than two-thirds of the total number of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh at the proposal of the President.

The Constitutional Court consists of nine judges and is the highest body of judicial power for protection of the Constitution and inter alia decides on the constitutionality of laws and other legal acts, renders official interpretations of the norms of the Constitution, concludes as to the constitutionality of Presidential elections and dismissal of the President and concludes on draft laws amending and supplementing the Constitution.

The Supreme Court is the highest body of judicial power in the sphere of civil, criminal, administrative and other legal proceedings within the jurisdiction of the local courts and supervises the judicial activity of the local courts by reviews.

Judges of the local courts are appointed by the President at the proposal of the National Council for the Judiciary, which is formed from among representatives of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of power and public associations. Dismissal from office is carried out by the National Council for the Judiciary.

The Constitution, new statutory wording, amendments or supplements may be adopted by nationwide referendum called by the President with the consent of the majority of the total number of deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh. It is a condition for adoption that it is voted for by over half of the voters taking part in the ballot and that over half of the voters enrolled in the electoral register turns out.

Further, amendments and supplements to the Constitution chapters three to eight (that is, excluding the chapters on Fundaments of the constitutional order, Human and civil rights and freedoms, and Procedures for adopting changes to the constitution) may be adopted by a majority of two-thirds of the total number of deputies by the Jogorku Kenesh at the proposal of the President, the Jogorku Kenesh itself or on the initiative of no fewer than 300,000 voters. The majority of the Jogorku Kenesh may demand that such a law be put to a referendum.

Posted: February 2008


Kyrgyzstan is:

  • OSCE Participating State since 30 January 1992
  • Member State of the United Nations since 2 March 1992

Status of Ratification of the Main International Human Rights Treaties, Conventions and other instruments

02 October 2007
International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2007)
16 September 2005
UN Convention against Corruption (2003)
02 October 2003
UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2003)

Legal Reviews

Joint Opinion on the Draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic (in English)

Date : 19 March 2021 English [0.68 MB]

Joint Opinion on the Draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic (in Kyrgyz)

Date : 19 March 2021 English [1.05 MB]

Joint Opinion on the Draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic (in Russian)

Date : 19 March 2021 English [0.91 MB]

Search all Legal Reviews

Assessments of legislative processes

Assessment of the Legislative Process in the Kyrgyz Republic

Date : 08 December 2015 English [0.56 MB]

Preliminary Assessment of the Legislative Process in the Kyrgyz Republic

Date : 30 April 2014 English [0.48 MB]