Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov has dismissed Prime Minister Sapar Isakov, his deputies and Cabinet. Earlier the Kyrgyz Parliament expressed its non-confidence in Isakov on the initiative of the Ata Meken, Republic-Ata Zhurt and Onuguu-Progress parliamentary groups.
The attack on the government has emphasized extension of the majority coalition in the parliament: it was joined by the opposition Republic-Ata Zhurt faction.
40-year-old Isakov formed his Cabinet on Aug 25, 2017, as the 28th and the youngest prime minister in Kyrgyzstan’s independent history. Former Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan, President of the International Agency of Development and Politics Alikbek Jekshenkulov has commented on this process in an interview to EADaily.
What is going on in Kyrgyzstan?
President Jeenbekov is getting rid of the legacy of his predecessor Almazbek Atambayev: social and economic decline, unfavorable investment climate, inefficient political system based on clan interests and corruption. Jeenbekov is quite popular for the moment but nobody expected him to show such firmness. Now much depends on who he will appoint into the new Cabinet.
Are there any candidates for the prime minister’s post being discussed?
Among the candidates is Mukhammetkaly Abulgaziev, an experienced administrator and economist. He was responsible for economy under Atambayev.
According to Deputy Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament, member of the parliamentary group of Social-Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) Asel Koduranova, the majority coalition would not have dismissed Isakov were it not for the parliament’s decision. As many as 101 MPs voted against the premier. Was it a split in the group or in the parliament?
The SDPK has long split. Its late March congress was more like a meeting of Almazbek Atambayev’s supporters. Atambayev and his team made lots of political mistakes during their rule. This is why his system is falling apart.
What is the attitude of the parliamentary majority?
They support President Jeenbekov. The facts that Almazbekov’s men were involved in corrupt practices have become a blow for the SDPK.
Is it a priority for Jeenbekov to have his own party in the parliament or the existing format is good enough to him?
Much will depend on what political configuration he will chose. Today many people insist on amending the constitution.
Yes. This is crucial for our future. Some people insist that Kyrgyzstan should have a strong presidential rule, others would like to see a majority system. The government’s dismissal was just the beginning of hard political times for Kyrgyzstan. The new Cabinet will have to solve lots of problems. And it is very much important who will be there.
Does it mean that Kyrgyzstan may switch from the parliamentary to presidential regime?
The parliamentary regime has failed to make our lives better. On the contrary, it has given rise to clashes among different clans and financial groups.
Can former President Atambayev stir up people against Jeenbekov?
Nobody will follow Atambayev today. All he can is to hire some mercenaries. He has enough money for this. But people will not support him now that all of his pranks have come to surface.
EADaily’s Central Asian Bureau