IRI Kyrgyzstan Poll: Strong Majority Want Kyrgyz as Official Language, Increased Support for Younger Candidates, Rise in Undecided Voters

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – A new poll conducted by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research (CISR) in Kyrgyzstan shows a majority of people strongly back Kyrgyz as the official state language, an increase in support for younger candidates, and a rise in undecided voters for the next parliamentary elections in 2026.

When asked about the Law on the State Language of the Kyrgyz Republic, which mandates Kyrgyz to be used as the official state language at all state and government entities, local self-government bodies, and private companies, 76% of adults said they strongly supported it.

“The overwhelming support for the state language law demonstrates that Kyrgyz citizens are embracing their national identity as an independent state,” said Stephen Nix, Senior Director for Eurasia at IRI.

In Kyrgyzstan, there is an increasing desire for younger candidates to run for office. Thirty-six percent of adults said they would be more likely to vote for someone who is 35 years old or younger. This represents an 18-percentage point jump from the previous poll.  

The new poll also found that there was a 12-percentage point increase in adults not knowing or not decided on who they would vote for if parliamentary elections were held next Sunday.  

“This increase in non-declared voters suggests an opening for political parties to attract new voters through increased voter outreach before the next elections,” said Nix.


The survey was conducted on behalf of IRI’s Center for Insights in Survey Research by SIAR Research and Consulting between December 21, 2023, and January 19, 2024, through face-to-face interviews at respondents’ homes. The sample consists of 1,500 residents of Kyrgyzstan aged 18+, and the data was weighted for age and gender. The margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2.5 points at the 95 percent confidence level, and the response rate was 66%. This survey was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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