Kyrgyzstan. Opposition politician Kanatbek Isayev was sentenced in January to 12 years in prison charged with corruption. According to Isayev, the prosecution was politically motivated. He had been arrested before the 2017 presidential election accused of coup plans and was then not allowed to run for election.
In early 2018, protests were held outside the Supreme Court, the parliament and the presidential office in the capital Bishkek demanding legal reform and dismissal of judges accused of corruption.
In severe cold, Bishkek’s newly renovated thermal power plant failed. People were freezing for days, dissatisfaction was great and demands were raised on the Prime Minister’s departure.
- According to Abbreviationfinder: KYR is an three letter acronym for Kyrgyzstan.
In April, Prime Minister Sapar Isakov was dismissed by the president after the government lost a vote of confidence in Parliament. A power struggle was reportedly raging between President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and President Almazbek Atambayev, who supported the Prime Minister. Several of Atambayev’s allies were dismissed, including the state prosecutor and the head of the security service. Former Chief of Staff in the President’s Office, Muchammedkalyj Abylgaziev was appointed as new Prime Minister.
The deposed head of government Isakov was charged with corruption linked to the renovation of the accident-affected thermal power plant. He was said to have caused great harm to society by lobbying for a Chinese company that got the construction project. Isakov described the prosecution as false, but another former prime minister was arrested as well as a former mayor of Bishkek and a former minister of energy.
According to Countryaah.com, Bishkek is the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, a country located in Central Asia. The purge of former President Atambayev’s allies continued. In July, Bishkek’s mayor was indicted for corruption, and the deputy mayor was arrested for abuse of power. In August, the Bishkek City Council elected new mayor during protests from protesters, which demanded more candidates than the ruling Social Democrats.
Russian investigative journalists reported in August that US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort worked in Kyrgyzstan in 2005 to promote the Russian Federation’s geopolitical interests. Among other things, it involved the closure of a US military installation near Bishkek, a transport hub for NATO’s forces in Afghanistan.
The Social Democratic Party, led by President Atambajek, in August came under harsh criticism against persecution of political opponents, questionable appointments and weak economic policies. Despite the party sitting in the government, they blamed it for a growing protest atmosphere in the country.
During the year, Kyrgyzstan received harsh criticism from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for allowing the old custom of bride-groom to continue with rape and forced marriage without prosecution and punishment. In one notable case during the year, an abducted 20-year-old woman was killed by her kidnapper at a police station where both were taken. Several police officers were dismissed for failing to protect the woman.
In October, Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Minister resigned after the Kyrgyzstan ambassador to South Korea accused his own foreign ministry of corruption. The ambassador sought political asylum in an unnamed country.
During the year, the country’s anti-terrorist center reported that 150 Kyrgyz citizens have been killed when fighting for Islamist groups in the war in Syria since 2011. About 850 Kyrgyz citizens were estimated to have participated in the war.
At the turn of the century, Kyrgyzstan had not yet resolved the serious economic and social problems that were undermining his internal stability. A peculiar characteristic of the country remained the clear contrast between the regions of the North, more developed and Europeanized, and those of the South, extremely poor and Islamized; Tribal and clan divisions overlapped this, branched out over the whole territory, which thus continued to present itself, also due to its mountainous nature and the lack of developed communication routes, extremely disjointed. The central power managed by the President of the Republic A. Akaev (re-elected in 2000), which had become more and more personal over the years, continued to be based on an inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy, which in fact left ample room for maneuver to the various local potentates and showed little ability to intervene on individual administrative realities.
During 2001, the opposition forces, of communist and nationalist inspiration, saw the room for maneuver granted to them shrink more and more, and were often hit by indiscriminate arrests and violence by the police, called to repress any manifestation of dissent. The situation became critical during 2002, following the unjustified arrest of a prominent member of the opposition, A. Beknazarov, and the subsequent armed intervention by the police against the demonstrators who had gathered in the southern region of Aksy to claim his release; intervention cost the life of 5people (March). The government’s refusal to take responsibility for those deaths brought many thousands more protesters to the streets, calling for the release of political prisoners, the resignation of the president and the arrest of those responsible for the massacre.
The resignation of the government (May) and the amnesty approved by the Parliament (June) for all those who had been arrested during the riots, including Beknazarov and the policemen accused of murder, failed to quell the protest, which continued with intensity over the months successive, especially in the south of the country, and was only partially weakened by the prohibition, imposed by the executive in September, of demonstrations and strikes. In February 2003, a constitutional referendum approved the transformation of the Parliament from bicameral to unicameral and extended Akaev’s mandate by two years, who would thus remain in office until December 2005, the year in which legislative elections were also scheduled. Held in February 2005,the consultations sanctioned a new victory for the pro-government forces, which, however, was not recognized by the opposition parties, which, denouncing fraud and intimidation, returned to mobilize the square massively.
A crescendo of strikes and demonstrations, which spread from the South to the capital, in March 2005 peacefully forced Akaev to abandon Kyrgyzstan, forcing him to flee to Russia, from where he gave his formal resignation in April. Power was assumed on an interim basis by Kyrgyzstan Bakiev (former prime minister from 2000 to 2002), who, with the support of the southern regions and signed a political agreement with F. Kulov, an expression of the interests of the northern regions, was elected president with 89.5 % of the votes. Kulov was himself appointed prime minister (September). In the first months of 2006, however, internal stability remained fragile.
In foreign policy, Kyrgyzstan tried to maintain a balanced position in relations between Western countries and Russia in recent years, making both important military concessions: after the attacks of 11 September 2001 he allowed the forces of the anti-terrorist coalition led by the states United to use the Manas military base; in September 2003 he allowed the construction of a Russian air base in Kant. In May 2002, a disputed agreement with China on the border line was also ratified, which provided for the cession of certain territories to Beijing.