The ex-president of Kyrgyzstan did not escape from the country like Akayev and Bakiyev.
The main political event of 2019 in Kyrgyzstan was the assault on the residence of ex-president Almazbek Atambayev and his arrest. At the end of June 2020, something happened some people didn’t truly believe in — the politician was given 11 years in prison. Why didn’t Atambayev escape like the other two former leaders, Akayev and Bakiyev? Why didn’t he succeed in the way Nursultan Nazarbayev did? Independent expert Yevgeny Kudryats shared opinion with CentralAsia.news on the situation around Atambayev.
He didn’t want to listen
The Kyrgyz people remember well that, ex-president, Atambayev promoted Sooronbai Jeenbekov to the relevant state position. The fact that Atambayev was going to continue to lead the republic through the president controlled by him was not a big secret. The existence of such an agreement between politicians was also confirmed by Yevgeny Kudryats.
«Indeed, there was an agreement between Atambayev and Jeenbekov that the new president won’t pursue an independent policy and will do whatever the ex-president says», — noted the expert.
According to the interlocutor, Atambayev felt real power and decided to act independently, without coordination of his predecessor. Atambayev did not like this «alignment», and he started to actively criticize the current leader of Kyrgyzstan. It caused a further confrontation between politicians. It was followed by tough contradictions regarding financial, personnel, and even moral issues, said the expert.
«Source of power»
Atambayev had ruled the country for six years, and in the confrontation, he lost to his successor, which immediately made us think about the support that Jeenbekov has got. Moreover, even the persecution of the former president did not affect foreign policy relations with friendly CIS countries.
«Jeenbekov has very strong support, especially in the south of the country. It is very interesting that in this conflict, Moscow did not support the ex-president of Kyrgyzstan. It is based on the fact that by the moment Zheenbekov managed to clear the political field from Atambayev’s supporters and associates. Real levers of power appeared in his hands, and he used them», — commented the expert.
«Preparation» with Isakov
It should be mentioned that before Atambayev, in the spring of 2018, security forces came down to the former Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sapar Isakov. Atambayev himself emphasized that an anti-corruption campaign was launched in the country. He noted that the victims of the illegal process were just those who fought against bribery and were involved in filling the budget.
«Former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sapar Isakov has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption. Naturally, this process should not be considered as a separate one, but only a link in the general chain. Jeenbekov firmly took up the fight against corruption», — said the expert.
He didn’t expect it
It is worth noting that during the years of independence of Kyrgyzstan, two presidents of this country did not immediately wait for possible arrests and left the republic. Atambayev, despite the authorities' intention to hold him accountable, and then instituting criminal proceedings, did not leave Kyrgyzstan. He expected that he would not be imprisoned. Yevgeny Kudryats also said that the ex-leader did not expect imprisonment.
«The former president of Kyrgyzstan did not expect that he could be prosecuted and get a real term. Moreover, he most likely had some kind of agreement with the elected leader on ironclad guarantees. He greatly miscalculated the situation, and therefore did not escape», — commented the expert.
Kudryats believes that Atambayev overestimated his capabilities, banking on the support of Moscow. The interlocutor noted that ’s failures show his «political shortsightedness».
Help at the cost of 11 years
One of the key components of the charge against Atambayev was the case of the unlawful release of criminal kingpin Aziz Batukayev. The president of the country, according to investigators, contributed to the release of the criminal. Almost 20 people were involved in the case, including former Prosecutor General and Deputy Prime Minister, officials from the Ministry of Health.
«That demonstrates the fact that during the years of his presidency Atambayev surrounded himself with dishonest people who, being the state officials, abused power and engaged in illegal activities. Perhaps some will see revenge from the current president of Kyrgyzstan, «no smoke without fire», — commented Kudryats.
The editorial office adds that in mid-June, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Muhammedkaly Abylgaziyev resigned amid scandal and allegations of illegal sale of radio frequencies. It must be added that he was the president’s man — Abylgaziyev was considered by people as a puppet, controlled by Jeenbekov.