Expert Korganbaev: Babanov’s arrest undermines reputation of President of Kyrgyzstan

The political scientist believes that the President’s team does not focus on the issues of prime importance.

The law enforcement agencies of Kyrgyzstan got ex-Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov arrested. The security officials consider him engaged in corrupt activities on the Kumtor gold deposit. Babanov is regarded as a key figure in Kyrgyzstan’s political and business circles. By the way, ex-Speaker of Parliament Asylbek Jeenbekov is also involved in the Kumtor case.

There is no doubt that the detention and arrest of the people like that are tacitly agreed upon with the current high-ranking officials of Kyrgyzstan. What lies behind criminal prosecution and how does it affect the social and political situation in the Republic? A political scientist and analyst Mederbek Korganbaev answered these questions of

Reaction of society

Today, President Sadyr Japarov needs to adjust his policy stance and trigger positive changes in the economy, strengthen social security, ensure the safety of citizens living in border areas and encourage business activity. Korganbaev also noted that the loyalty and support from the social elites was important for the leader of the Republic. However, the case of Babanov is affecting adversely the image of what the President is doing.

“The recent arrests of the prominent political leaders on charges of corrupt activities on the Kumtor gold deposit have caused serious concern in public and political circles, big business and youth. The fellow citizens consider the criminal case against Omurbek Babanov and Asylbek Jeenbekov to be political persecution,” the analyst noted.

The political scientist emphasised that Babanov and Jeenbekov represented the influential clans with significant finances in the Republic. They have support from the electorate and experience of participating in the political life of the country. Omurbek Babanov is a native of Talas and one of the most influential leaders of northern political groups. He was Prime Minister in 2012. He was one of the strongest presidential candidates in Kyrgyzstan and the likely winner of the presidential election in 2017.

Asylbek Jeenbekov, the brother of ex-President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, is a political heavyweight like Babanov.

“By the will of fate, these two politicians turned out to be comrades in misfortune. However, the reaction of society has shown that Babanov is supported at the republican level, especially in Bishkek where businesses, intellectuals and politicians concentrate. Today, Omurbek Babanov has become a political prisoner. Before his arrest, he always tried to find a compromise with the authorities and refrain from taking radical steps towards confronting,” the expert said.

Errors and omissions of President Japarov

According to Mederbek Korganbaev, Babanov and Jeenbekov pose no threat to Japarov and his team. The political scientist assumed that the entourage of the leader of the Republic was trying to advance their perceived interests and attempting to mislead Japarov.

The expert acknowledged that pressure on Babanov and Jeenbekov may bring insignificant political points to the reputation of Sadyr Zhaparov, but such steps had no positive effect on the current situation in the economy and a number of other sectors of crucial importance for the country.

“On the contrary, President Japarov is losing support from the elites. Political and financial groups understand that the continuation of such conduct leads to protests and reduces citizens’ trust. Speaking openly, Sadyr Japarov has nothing to offer the Kyrgyz people today. At the same time, prices for food, electricity, fuels and lubricants are rising,” Korganbaev noted.

The resumption of casinos, the joint construction of a power station with Uzbekistan, personnel policy and the silence of the authorities on the border incident with Tajikistan give rise to discontent among the people. It may be taken advantage of by third forces, the interlocutor said.

The political scientist is convinced that President Japarov must make efforts to emerge from the existing situation. He needs an effective team of crisis managers and analysts. Businesses and investors need to be protected and agriculture needs to be raised, since an acute issue of food security arose during the quarantine in 2020.

The society welcomed with enthusiasm the dissolution of the Anti-Corruption Service of the State Committee for National Security. The expert believes that the dismantling of this institution is premature. It has made impressive strides in a short time and regularly replenished the national treasury. If the Service had continued to exist, funds could be used to strengthen the law enforcement bloc of Kyrgyzstan in the future. Korganbaev stated that the dismantling of the Service was also a political decision.

The analyst noted that Japarov needed to analyse his past and future actions to avoid further reputational losses. Like his predecessors, the President trusted his advisers and entourage too much, the political scientist added.

09 июл 2021, 14:03
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