Voters in Kant took part in a lively public debate with their elected representatives on 24 June. The meeting was one of a series organised by the National Democratic Institute and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), as part of an ongoing programme to strengthen accountability by helping parliamentarians develop links with members of the public.
Roza Aknazarova MP, Erkin Sakebaev MP and Eristina Kochkarova MP took turns to explain how their respective parties were working through parliament to improve the lives of people in places like Kant, a town to the east of Bishkek. In an emotionally charged exchange, the MPs responded to questions posed by Kant residents on the environmental impact of local industrial activity. Then local council representatives quizzed the MPs on the implications of particular laws on local government. The MPs undertook to relay the concerns expressed at the meeting to their parliamentary colleagues when parliament reconvenes after the summer recess.
The meeting was part of the Deepening Democracy programme in which DFID is investing £4 million between 2012 and 2015. USAID jointly supports the programme.