Expert Shestakov compares internal policy under Atambaev and Jeenbekov

The political scientist spoke about the role of parties in Kyrgyzstan and the nature of the government.

A curious and incredible event took place in Kyrgyzstan a few days ago. The main party in the republic — SDPK (as the CPSU in the Soviet Union) will not take part in the parliamentary elections in 2020. A technical reason for that is the lack of important documents for participation in the election race. However, it is not the whole picture of the situation. The SDPK was split and that led to problems with registration documents. The split and the subsequent sad position of the party were associated with its former leader Almazbek Atambayev. An interesting fact is that more than 10 parties have already submitted documents to the CEC in order to obtain seats in parliament.

It must be added that earlier Atambayev’s ally — the current head of the state Sooronbai Jeenbekov — completely «insulated» himself from the previous ruling party. editorial staff asked Igor Shestakov, a political scientist, co-chairman of the Club of Regional Experts of Kyrgyzstan Pikir, to comment on the internal political situation considering differences between Atambayev and Jeenbekov.

Big difference

Igor Shestakov reminded that Atambayev, unlike Jeenbekov, had been the leader of the SDPK for a long time. Jeenbekov took part in the presidential elections with the support of this party. However, he was not a real representative of this political organization.

— After Jeenbekov won and became the head of the state, he left all his political ties and obligations in this direction, — underlined the expert.

A significant difference between Jeenbekov is the fact that he is the first president of Kyrgyzstan who does not represent any political party, noted Shestakov. Atambayev, even during his presidency, remained the de facto leader of the SDPK. The current leader demonstrates that he is not associated with parties, but relies on the people.

There were differences between politicians in the fight against corruption. According to the expert, Atambayev stood in need to combat corruption, but the «punishing hand» of justice was more often selective, although there were detentions of government officials, including deputies.

— Jeenbekov started his work as a president with a declaration of war on corruption. High-profile criminal cases were opened, even against former prime ministers. Previously, the ex-prime ministers were not accused of the relevant crimes, — said Shestakov.

He added that Jeenbekov was accused of the fact that the cases he opened were politicized. The political scientist added that there were facts that required a reaction from law enforcement agencies, considering resonant events related to them.

Attentive to the regions

Economic development is one of the key criteria for assessing the performance of the head of the state. There were no real economic successes under Atambaev, his leadership only led to an increase in the external debt of Kyrgyzstan. The political scientist marked that there was no sharp improvement in the economic situation after Atambayev’s departure. On the other hand, there can be no «miracles» so far under Jeenbekov, given the powerful collapse in the sectors of the economy in the early 90s. The problems were systemic. It is impossible to solve them in a few years.

A significant difference in Jeenbekov’s policy was the focus on the development of the regions. It led to the opening of the enterprises.

— The launch that is taking place now is related to Jeenbekov’s agenda. There is some progress, especially since the Year of Regional Development has been announced in the country, — stated the interviewee.

The expert highlighted that the coronavirus pandemic hardly hurt the economy of the republic. However, the head of the state ordered to allocate significant funds to support key economic areas.

«Lack of freedom of speech»

The situation with freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan, according to many Internet users, has become worse under the current leader. The political scientist disagrees with this opinion. He drew attention to the fact that under Atambayev there were high-profile cases. The ex-leader was suing some media outlets, demanding significant sums. But now there are no such claims.

The expert added that Jeenbekov filed a lawsuit against the media during the election campaign but later withdrew the demands.


Despite the fact that Kyrgyzstan is considered a parliamentary republic, the full power there belongs to the president. Shestakov marked that neither 10 years ago after the adoption of the Constitution, nor now there are strong parties that could become system-forming for the institutions of power.

— Almazbek Atambayev seems to be interested in it. He got over with the fact that the republic is parliamentary. However, key decisions were made in the office of the head of the state. All the parliamentary parties had been tied up with the president’s activities, — said the political scientist.

It happened because the parties in the country «have signboards», but in fact, they are just pre-election associations, where businessmen and politicians gather to obtain seats in parliament and work for themselves. Programs and fulfillment of promises are relegated to the background. Therefore, in society, the institution of the president has a higher level of trust.

The institution of the prime minister is characterized by inconsistency. For 10 years, 9 prime ministers have changed, and ministers have changed as well. In this situation, investors could not work normally, not understanding who they can cooperate with to solve issues. First, they discussed and decided everything with one prime minister, a week later he resigned. It was required to establish contact with a new one and to re-explain everything and agree on it. The mess with the change of the Cabinet had a negative impact on the economy, said the source.

Intrigues among the fractions of the parliamentary majority do not stop even under Jeenbekov. The point of the behind-the-scenes struggle is to get a «beneficial position» in the government for a representative of one or another party. Under the current president, they began to actively speak out for changing the Constitution. After all, the model based on it makes the prime minister a hostage and reduces the efficiency of the work of the cabinet. It mainly consists of non-professionals and is represented by party functionaries. The situation reaches the point that the head of the state has to deal with the development of the economy by himself.

29 авг 2020, 08:52
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