A Kyrgyz power play beginning?

by Steven_Schwerbel on 11/13/2009 · 2 comments

Something seems to be afoot in Kyrgyzstan — after another slaying of a journalist (the third this year) and the rearranging of the government that put the President’s son into a leading role, the Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party is speaking out:

Ata-Meken opposition party disseminated the statement of its leader Omurbek Tekebaev, where he blames Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev in the violation of number of constitutional norms and unlawful seizure of power through the change of constitution.

Ata-Meken notes that reforms of Kurmanbek Bakiev uncovered the purpose of his politics: to strengthen personal control via rude violations of Constitution and laws of Kyrgyzstan with open ignorance of public opinion.

Tekebaev says that Bakiev went beyond his commission, appropriating authority and establishing five independent from each other institutes, united under president’s institutes whereas constitution says that President’s activity is maintained by President’s administration.

But this may not be as spontaneous a protest as it first appears — indeed, it seems to have been in the works for a while now:

During a visit to the United States from December 10 to 19, the leader the Kyrgyz Ata Meken opposition party, Omurbek Tekebayev, his colleagues, and representative of the For Justice movement repeatedly mentioned a plan to challenge President Kurmanbek Bakiyev this March by organizing crowds across the country. From the criticism and vigor they expressed in their numerous meetings in Washington, D.C., and New York, one could see that Tekebayev and his fellow oppositionists were determined to topple Bakiyev as early as spring or at least before the next presidential elections preliminarily scheduled for 2010.

The governmental rearrangement certainly provides good cover for the opposition, who continue to tap into a narrative of usurped power, but Tekebayev is not without his own flaws:

When this was posted, Tekebayev appeared to still be in custody, and he reportedly denied that he had anything to do with the heroin found in his baggage. Tekebayev, instead, has insisted that this was a provocation engineered by his political enemies in Kyrgyzstan. Furthermore, various political figures in Kyrgyzstan have backed Tekebayev’s assertion that the entire incident must have been a “set-up,” including Edil Baisalov (leader of the Coalition of NGOs for Democracy and Civil Society), Roza Otunbayeva (former Foreign Minister and co-leader of the Asaba party), and parliamentarian Temur Sariyev.


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{ 2 comments }

Edil Baisalov November 14, 2009 at 12:32 am

Steven,

Re: Tekebayev’s ‘flaws’ – he’s got plenty however regarding heroin story in Warsaw airport in September 2006 there is irrefutable evidence that he was framed with drugs by the Kyrgyz SNB which at the time was led by Kurmanbek Bakiev’s brother Janysh.

http://roberts-report.blogspot.com/2006/09/blog-post.html

paul quinn-judge November 22, 2009 at 10:01 pm

I have to assume this is a joke, not a serious attempt to analyse Kyrgyz politics. If so, my apologies for not catching the humour on a Monday morning. But if it is the latter, it is stunningly incompetent.
the links go back to 2006 and early 2009. The latter refer to demos planned for March 2009, which of course fizzled. There are developments afoot here — including as noted changes in the structure of government, but also massive planned increases in utility costs, the continuing collapse of infrastructure, particularly energy. If you are going to analyse the situation, you might want to consider these.

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