: / Analytics / Local Governance Assessment in Kyrgyzstan (2005)

Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

1.1 Background on the development of local governance in Kyrgyzstan

The Kyrgyz Republic has prioritized good governance as a key component of its reform program. A number of relevant legislations have been drafted and approved that establish a legal and institutional basis for political and fiscal decentralization. Many donors as well as international and local NGOs have provided expertise and resources for social mobilization and have financed the local governance projects. Local governments themselves have demonstrated the ability to independently undertake initiatives, identify their own priorities and implement projects. The new edition of a law for inter-budgetary relations that provides local governments with an incentive to increase local revenues came into force in 2005. The Aiyl Okmotus (AO) and the Ayil Keneshes (AK),[1] which were directly elected in December 2001, are increasingly collecting local revenues such as local sales taxes, commercial and residential property taxes, and other user fees that eventually can provide fiscal resources for local governments to carry out their responsibilities. They represent the two major players of the local self-government system with the shared responsibility of managing social infrastructure assets and drafting and implementing programs for social and economic development at the local level. The election of 2004 resulted in a majority turnover of AK deputies. The elections brought in village and local executive bodies and parliaments composed of community leaders and heads of community groups.  
The new Kyrgyz Government[2] has already expressed a commitment to continue reforms on political, economic, and fiscal decentralization. As part of decentralization reforms, local self-governments were given an extensive mandate to manage local social and economic affairs, formulate and execute local budgets, administer local taxes, and perform a number of other functions. To date, their actual institutional, financial and human capacities remain weak or largely unrealized. The issues of transparency and accountability of local self-governments are closely intertwined with participatory approaches in decision-making. Thus, the limited scope of capacity building activities with citizens and community groups is another serious challenge. This has created a level of cynicism and frustration from civil society and citizen groups who are fatigued by activities that translate into little impact.

[1] Aiyl Okmotu is the lowest local self-government unit in Kyrgyzstan, which may include one or more villages.
[2] A new government was granted a temporary mandate. It is lead by K. Bakiyev, after the change of political leadership in March 2005.