26 may 2019

Central Asia news

KYRGYZ CRIMINAL ELEVATED TO THE PARLIAMENT. Additional parliamentary election took place in Kyrgyzstan on April 9

10.04.2006 12:57 msk

Staff correspondent


Election of lawmakers into the Zhogorku Kenesh [national parliament of Kyrgyzstan] took place in three districts - Balykcha, Kurshab, and Kadamzha - last Sunday. Deputies representing two of these districts fell victim of assassins. The lawmaker from the third was offered a post in state structures and accepted, leaving a vacancy to be filled.

Six candidates ran for the parliament in the Balykcha Constituency No 69. One of them was Ryspek Akmatbayev, the brother of the assassinated Tynychbek Akmatbayev. He polled the majority of votes (79% of all participants cast their votes for Akmatbayev). Official outcome of the election will be gauged at 10 a.m. (local time) at best, but local observers do not doubt that Akmatbayev will be proclaimed the winner in the very first round.

The second round of election is expected in the Kadamzha district as no candidate polled the necessary 50% plus one vote. Cholpon Sultanbekova and Noomanzhan Arkabayev will run against each other in the second round. Sultanbekova is the widow of the assassinated lawmaker Bajaman Erkinbayev.

The second round is also expected in the Kurshab district. What information is available at this point indicates that Sanzhar Kadyraliyev and Mamat Orozbayev will run for the national parliament in the second round. There are the rumors that Kadyraliyev is the kingpin who took Erkinbayev's position in the underworld of southern Kyrgyzstan when the latter was assassinated. There are also the rumors that Kadyraliyev is Ryspek Akmatbayev's creature.


Bek Orozaliyev (Bishkek)

Kommersant, April 10, 2006, p. 11

Activists of civil society present the Kyrgyz authorities with an ultimatum

A mass protest action took place in Bishkek last Saturday, its participants indignant over the processes of coalescence of the underworld with the new Kyrgyz authorities. The protest action was sparked by the determination of Ryspek Akmatbayev to become deputy of the parliament and the lack of reaction to it on the part of official authorities. Akmatbayev is believed to be one of the leaders of the Kyrgyz underworld.

Demonstration "Peaceful March of Citizens for Law and Order" was organized by nearly 20 political parties and major non-government organizations including Ar-Namys, the political party Prime Minister Felix Kulov established seven years ago. Between 3,000 and 5,000 protesters (estimates differ) marched from the Southern Gate of the Kyrgyz capital to the Government House in Ala-Too (the central square) where a rally took place. The protesters demanded from the authorities a genuine war on organized crime, constitutional reforms, and prevention of coalescence of the underworld with power structures and law enforcement agencies.

"We support integral policemen who are trying to jail criminals, not their crooked colleagues along with corrupt state officials and judges who let the criminals out and enable them to dictate terms to society," Edil Baisalov of the Coalition For Democracy and Civil Society said.

The ultimatum to the authorities gives them 20 days to meet the demands or the next mass rally on April 29 will put forth new and stiffer demands.

"This demonstration is just the first signal to the authorities to start paying attention to what is happening in the country," lawmaker Temirbek Sariyev said. "The constitutional, administrative, judicial reforms are but the simplest of our demands the authorities may get down to meeting without a delay."

It may be added that not only the local intelligentsia is irritated with the Kyrgyz underworld. Newspaper Agym reported with a reference to well-informed sources that Russian President Vladimir Putin brought up the matter in the recent telephone call to his Kyrgyz opposite number. US, Kazakh, and German ambassadors voiced their governments' concern over the underworld's growing clout with the authorities in Bishkek. Richard Bowcher of the US Department of State is expected in Bishkek on Tuesday. It seems that he has a great deal of questions to the Kyrgyz leadership concerning the war on corruption and organized crime.

In the meantime, additional election into the national parliament took place in three Kyrgyz districts. Akmatbayev ran for the parliament in one of them. Eight candidates out of fourteen had withdrawn from the parliamentary race on the eve of the election and condemned the authorities for supporting Akmatbayev. Judging by interim results, the man known as the head of the Kyrgyz underworld will become the lawmaker soon.