Kyrgyzstan changes Prime Minister again
Kubatbek Boronov was appointed new Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan. At a parliament meeting, he was supported by a majority coalition: SDPK, Respublika-Ata-Zhurt, Kyrgyzstan and Bir Bol. President Sooronbai Jeenbekov signed a decree appointing him. By another decree, he dismissed accepting the resignation of Prime Minister Muhamedkaliy Abilgaziyev. The reason for the resignation was a corruption scandal and a failed economic policy. "I have nothing to do with this matter," Muhammedkaliy Abylgaziev said.
On May 20, MP Zhanar Akayev said in parliament that 200 MHz of radio frequencies were sold illegally to a Kyrgyz mobile operator, resulting in multimillion-dollar damage to the government. According to the MP, the deal could not be done without the PM's permission. The Prosecutor General’s Office detained five people in this case, including GKNB employees. Abylgaziev rejected the accusations and, in order to avoid accusations of exerting pressure on the investigation in the corruption case, went on short leave on May 27. A criminal case has been opened. Law enforcement authorities detained ex-director of the State Committee for Information Technologies and Communications Natalya Chernogubova and several intelligence officers. However, as he himself said, "the investigating authorities did not contact me with any questions during the two weeks of my vacation."
Abylgaziev believes that during the fight against coronavirus, the country's government should work stably and enjoy the full confidence of citizens. However, the uncertain situation arising in connection with the investigation interferes with the Cabinet's full-fledged work. "Based on these considerations, I decided to resign," the former prime minister explained.
Kyrgyz political analyst Mars Sariev told Vestnik Kavkaza that it was a targeted "operation" to remove Abylgaziyev from his position. "Of course, his work as prime minister causes questions. Failure in the economy sphere, budget deficit and the Cabinet's poor work during the COVID-19 pandemic, all this negatively affected the image of the president and the current government. The time for his resignation was good - summer, which is the dead season. The parliament will go into recess in a week. The autumn is expected to be busy. The parliamentary elections are planned for October. Therefore, the government has relied on the government reshuffle," Sariev said.
Kubatbek Boronov serves as First Deputy Prime Minister in the Kyrgyz government. He doesn't need to delve into matters. He became the 32nd the head of government during the state independence. But his role in governing the country will be minimal. Boronov became the technical PM for the transition period, that is, until October 2020. The minimum PM term in the history of Kyrgyzstan was 10 months. Boronov will not serve as prime minister even four months. Accordingly, nothing will depend on him. As it was if the case of Abylgaziev, who had been in this post for more than two years. The head of state makes decisions in Kyrgyzstan. However, it is too early to dismiss Abylgaziev. If he manages to prove his innocence in the "radio frequency case", he will most likely stay in politics, sticking to some political party and take part in parliamentary elections.
According to Mars Sariev, Kyrgyzstan needs a PM reformer who would lead the republic out of the protracted crisis. Several candidates are being considered: mayor of Bishkek Aziz Surakmatov, deputy prime minister Erkin Asrandiev and even disgraced Kyrgyz politician Omurbek Babanov, who fled the country after the 2017 presidential election because of a criminal case opened against him. "After all, it’s not without reason that Babanov appeared in Bishkek, albeit for family reasons - his sister died. All Kyrgyz politicians gathered for the wake that he arranged in the quarantined restaurant. Moreover, in my opinion, Babanov secured Russian support as well. And it could work and strengthen Russia's presence in Kyrgyzstan. Large investment projects and Russian capital may follow Babanov to the republic," Sariev said. The next prime minister will be elected by new parliamentary coalition.
In the meantime, a new round of political struggle has begun in Kyrgyzstan. Parties are united in blocks that are not always convenient for the authorities. The pro-government parties will compete with the new Zhany Dem (New Breath) association, which includes Omurbek Tekebayev's Ata Meken, Temir Sariev's Ak-Shumkar and Zhanar Akayev's Kyrgyz Liberal Democratic Party, as well as a number of politicians and activists. Members of the Chong Kazat movement are negotiating with the Ata-Jurt party. They also plan to hold promotions. The first one will start on June 29 - its organizers, the Green Party of Kyrgyzstan, have already made 20 demands on the president.