Democracy is flourishing in a most unlikely place…one of the Stans. The people of Kyrgyzstan are in no mood to be told who to vote for.
Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Duishenbek Zilaliev discovered that the hard way on September 19 in the southern Kyrgyz city of Batken, reported RFERL. It seems that once journalists had left a political photo op with civil servants, he then proceeded to instruct them on how to vote.
“You know better who to vote for. All of you work taking money from this state, this budget. I tell you, don’t spit into the well you drink from.”
The reaction was swift once the comments leaked to the news media. “From where do we drink our water? Do the authorities pay our salaries from their own pockets? [Our salaries] come from the taxes we pay. On the contrary – officials like you receive the most money and have big bellies because of our work! You shouldn’t spit into that well,” said one commenter.
“This person has no idea about our laws. Is he saying we will not receive our tiny salaries if we have a different president [than the one he wants]? Does he think our people are stupid? Is the Central Election Commission paying attention? Do we have any laws in our country at all?” declared another.
Prime Minister Sapar Isakov sacked Zilaliev from his role as head of the state committee for organizing and holding the presidential election.
“Conducting closed, secret meetings with civil servants and calling on them to vote for a particular person among the candidates is a negative contribution in the attempt to hold fair elections. For us, this is a very dangerous example,” said Isakov.