Almazbek Atambayev starts his return to politics with rally

Kyrgyzstan has marked another anniversary of the April revolution
Kyrgyzstan has marked another anniversary of the April revolution

Kyrgyz ex-president Almazbek Atambayev has called into question the achievements of the April 2010 revolution. He held a rally in the center of Bishkek, during which he accused the head of state Sooronbay Jeenbekov of restoring the family-clan regime, suggested repenting and starting to correct his mistakes. Otherwise, he promised to bring people back to the streets in two months.

On Sunday, Sooronbay Jeenbekov honored the memory of those killed in the April 2010 people's revolution. He laid flowers at the monument to those who died in the April 2010 events at the Ata Beyit Memorial Complex. Then the memorial prayer was read.

On April 7, 2010, a second coup d'état took place in Kyrgyzstan, during which President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's family-clan regime was overthrown. Then, 77 people were killed and 306 were injured during the protests. The power in the republic was passed to the provisional government, headed by Roza Otumbaeva. A year later, the election was held in the country, won by one of the leaders of the April revolution, Almazbek Atambayev. After his presidential term expired, the election was held, and the power was passed to the pro-government candidate Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

In his address to the people, the head of state emphasized that the Day of the People's April Revolution personifies the people’s "invincible will to revive, striving for new heights of development." "The Kyrgyz people have proved that they will never put up with the willfulness of the authoritarian government, will not allow the family-clan regime in the state. April 7 marks the beginning of a new era, big changes in politics, economics, and renewal of public life," Jeenbekov stressed.

Almazbek Atambayev held his own memorial rally. He brought about 400 his supporters to the central square of Bishkek and gave the current president a "scathing rebuke". The old and the new presidents have started to turn on each other immediately after the 2017 elections. Under the pretext of fighting corruption, the authorities opened criminal cases against Atambayev’s confidants, trying to get compromising material on the ex-president. However, either the compromising material was not enough, or the ex-president' immunity saved Atambayev from arrest.

But the authorities did not stop there, and nevertheless the deputies amended the draft law "On guarantees of the activities of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic", depriving him of immunity. It means that a criminal case can be initiated against Atambayev any time. As expert on Central Asia and the Middle East Alexander Knyazev said: "Atambayev was not part of Jeenbekov’s plans."

At the rally, Atambayev accused the current government of persecuting political opponents under the guise of fighting corruption and restoring the family-clan regime in the republic.

Atambayev returned to active politics, and it is possible that he will try to return to power. But not as a president or prime minister, Kyrgyz politician and public figure Adil Turdukulov told Vestnik Kavkaza, according to him, Atambayev wants to leave a “positive mark” in the country's history. "Serving as president, he launched a mechanism for creating a parliamentary republic. This indicates that he works for a historical perspective, creating a unique precedent not only for Kyrgyzstan, but also for the entire Central Asian region. Atambayev himself says that the parliamentary process should become long-term and stable to establish parliamentarism in the country. To prevent the State Committee for National Security fro falling into the hands of the president as a punitive body. By the way, this was the case under Atambayev. But today Tambaev admitted his mistakes and agrees with the criticism," Turdukulov said.

Answering the question from Vestnik Kavkaza of how Atambayev intends to realize his plans, Adil Turdukulov replied that first of all he would take part in the parliamentary elections scheduled for next year. At the same time, the expert does not exclude that it could be the early elections, so it is possible they will be held this autumn. There are several reasons: a socio-economic situation, unemployment and mass migration. Corruption is on the rise, while the declared fight against this evil has become of purely propagandist nature. "The government does not show any initiatives to improve the life of the population. And if it does, these steps are as unpopular as the adopted Administrative Code with its disproportionate fines. It has resulted in increasing displeasure among people. In order to relieve displeasure and switch the people's attention, they discuss holding early elections. However, the opposition is also in favor of dissolving the parliament. These are the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan and other Kyrgyz political forces. It is possible that a coalition will be formed. Atambayev’s participation in political life is good for the country, because the opposition is preventing the current government from sliding into authoritarianism and nepotism," Turdukulov stressed.

Atambayev promises to bring people to the streets, which may again lead to unrest and coup d'etat. According to Adil Turdukulov, "Atambayev is a politician, which is strongly felt by the political field." "He himself declares that there is no real, revolutionary situation in Kyrgyzstan. But the authorities, fearing that he may have grown in popularity, pushes him out of the real political field. Negative in the media and social networks, holding a parallel fake congress of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, arrests of Atambayev's associates. The authorities regard any contacts with Atambayev as a betrayal. Atambayev says that he is not afraid of the authorities, is not afraid of being arrested, and is ready for anything," the expert said. He may take people to the streets in June, but it does not mean a revolution.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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