Kyrgyzstan. In the campaign ahead of the local elections in Osh in the Fergana Valley in March, the disputes between Kyrgyz and the Uzbek flared up, with memories of the bloody ethnic riots in 2010. The national government in Bishkek wanted to remove the controversial Kyrgyz nationalist mayor of Osh, but his National Unity Party won the election.
The international think-tank Crisis Group warned in a report that anti-Uzbek policy in the Osh Region was deteriorating relations between Kyrgyz and the Uzbek and that radical Islamist groups succeeded in recruiting frustrated Uzbek. The deep poverty among many residents helped to make the situation worse.
The central government in Bishkek was challenged by the opposition in demonstrations demanding the departure of the coalition. Two coalition parties, Dignity and the Fatherland, also demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov after he was accused of corruption. The conflict ended with both parties leaving the government in August, and then the entire government was forced to leave.
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President Almazbek Atambayev commissioned his Social Democratic party friends to form a new government. The Prime Minister became President of the Chancellor Zjantoro Satybaldyev, who formed a majority coalition with the Social Democrats, Dignity and the Fatherland (Ata-Meken). The new prime minister was approved by 111 out of 120 votes when the opposition also voted for him.
There was severe conflict over Kyrgyzstan’s mining industry during the year. The Nationalist Party of the Fatherland (Ata-Zjurt) tried to push through the nationalization of the Canadian-owned gold mine Kumtor, which accounted for 12% of the country’s GDP. Parliament said no, but decided that the government would become a part-owner of the foreign company, and a Chinese company was forced to give some of the profits to the locals after being threatened with a fire in a mine.
When the government announced an international auction on mining licenses, the protests became fierce. Protesters stormed in and stopped the auction scandalous nationalist slogans. In October, protesters entered Parliament, where police opened fire to disperse them. Several people were injured. The opposition politicians who led the protest were arrested and accused of coup attempts. Then came new protest rallies outside the parliament, where the protesters demanded mine nationalization but also that the parliament should be dissolved and new elections announced.
Parliament voted a second time in October to raise the maximum penalty for bridesmaids from three to ten years in prison. A third vote was to be taken, and before it the bill was changed to seven years in prison. According to legal activists, thousands of girls and women are kidnapped annually for forced marriages in Kyrgyzstan, but very few are sentenced, while cattle thieves end up in jail and can face up to eleven years.
In 2012, the harshest verdict to date fell for the bride-groom in Kyrgyzstan. A man was sentenced to six years in prison after a young girl he robbed and raped had been hanged. According to a survey of 400 men and women in Talas in the northwest, 45% did not know that bridesmaids were a crime. Over 60% of women had been kidnapped, and 87% of men said they had been kidnapped.
Parliament approved in December an agreement authorizing the Russian Federation to use its military base in Kyrgyzstan for a further 15 years from 2017.
Following an acute energy shortage in severe cold, the Kyrgyzgaz state announced in December that the company will be sold to Russian Gazprom, which is expected to provide safer gas supplies and lower prices.
According to countryaah, the population of Kyrgyzstan in 2012 was 5,959,010, ranking number 112 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.910% yearly, and the population density was 31.0694 people per km2.