Putin's visit to Bishkek accelerated events in Kyrgyzstan

It is possible that Omurbek Babanov will execute memorandums signed during the visit of the President of the Russian Federation
It is possible that Omurbek Babanov will execute memorandums signed during the visit of the President of the Russian Federation

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Kyrgyzstan allowed to solve some problems of the country's residents, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov said yesterday, speaking in the parliament. According to him, the government is working on set tasks. Nevertheless, the Kyrgyz society is dissatisfied with the work of the Cabinet. The unresolved conflict on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border gives grounds for the resignation of the government. To resolve the crisis, the government has the only way out - to appoint Omurbek Babanov as prime minister of the country.

Tomorrow, after a year and a half of the Russian exile, the disgraced politician returns to Bishkek. A rally with 10 000 participants has been announced in his support. On April 23, supporters of another convicted politician Omurbek Tekebayev, the leader of the Ata Meken Party, are going to hold a mass rally demanding his release. Former President Almazbek Atambayev promises to bring people to the streets in two months. 

Sooronbay Jeenbekov, taking advantage of his right in accordance with the Constitution, p. 3, Art. 64, delivered a keynote speech at the meeting of the Supreme Council. Thus, as the Kyrgyz political analyst Mars Sariev told Vestnik Kavkaza, Jeenbekov tried to anticipate the events on the eve of the return of the politician and businessman Omurbak Babanov to Kyrgyzstan. Recall, Babanov participated in the presidential election and became the second. During the election campaign, two criminal cases were initiated against Babanov - on the fact of inciting ethnic hatred and public calls for a violent change of the constitutional order. After the results of the 2017 election became known, Babanov left Kyrgyzstan and announced the end of his political career. In March 2019, due to the rumors that Babanov was going to return to his homeland, the State Committee for National Security announced that "Babanov will be interrogated and brought to justice within the law." Nevertheless, the disgraced politician decided to return to Kyrgyzstan.

On the eve, in an interview with local media, he stated that he did not consider himself guilty and was ready to answer all questions. 10 thousand of his supporters promise to meet Babanov at the airport and to hold a rally in defense of their leader in the center of Bishkek. Omurbek Babanov’s return comes at the time of aggravation of the relations between President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and former President Almazbek Atambayev. The latter is dissatisfied with the inaction of the authorities and threatens with protests if there are no changes in the country. “Sooronbay Jeenbekov loses to Atambayev, and now Babanov too. Jeenbekov wants to dot the i’s while delivering his speech at the parliament,” Mars Sariev believes. The head of Kyrgyzstan promised an increase in salaries to teachers and doctors to ensure “the struggle of programs and ideas” at the upcoming 2020 parliamentary elections. He also said that “he does not serve a narrow circle of people, does not protect their interests and does not cover their theft.” This is a direct answer to Almazbek Atambayev, who accused the president with the patronage of "customs curator" - ex-deputy chairman Raim Matraimov, who was called the "purse” of the power. The cross-cutting theme of Jeenbekov’s speech became the development of the technological process. He also stressed that the country needs a change of elites.

Who will implement this program is unknown. The Cabinet of Ministers does not take initiatives. Even at the negotiations with Putin, Kyrgyz ministers presented a single project for the small hydropower plants construction. Babanov, as he proclaimed, is ready to work for his country and attract investments. In Russia, he got good experience in managing regions. Babanov also cites as an example of the Skolkovo center for the development of technologies and innovations created in the Russian Federation, and he is ready to create a similar one in Kyrgyzstan. But while he is "on the run", investors in Kyrgyzstan will not come.

“The union with Babanov is beneficial to both the current president and the ex-president. Each of them is trying to drag political heavyweights, such as Omurbek Babanov, to his side,” Sariev said. In his opinion, Sooronbay Jeenbekov will manage to come to an agreement with Omurbek Babanov in exchange for the chair of the Prime Minister of the Republic. In this scenario, Babanov has every chance of returning to Kyrgyzstan "on a white horse." According to rumors, the Kremlin is backing him. It is Babanov who will implement the memorandums signed during the visit of Vladimir Putin. "Russia has a goal to integrate Kyrgyzstan more closely into the regional structures. Russia needs broad integration and economic penetration into the mining industry, energy and other areas. Russia needs an effective manager in Kyrgyzstan," Sariev said.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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