Kyrgyzstan: Kurmanbek Bakiev addressed the government and Parliament
Kurmanbek Bakiev. Photo by the presidential press service
President Kurmanbek Bakiev has addressed the government and lawmakers of newly elected Kyrgyz Parliament on Thursday, January 10.
The president mostly spoke about the recent achievements and future accomplishments. The country possesses each and every provision to accomplish them with success, the president believes. The focus of the Bakiev's appeal to the nation (though officially he addressed the government and Parliament) was the presentation of a new political agenda formed in the aftermath of the overwhelming victory of his Ak Zhol party in the parliamentary elections on December 16, 2007.
The members of Bakiev's Ak Zhol party filled 71 of 90 seats in Parliament. Therefore, the executive, legislative and judicial branches of power are shaped by the pro-presidential Parliament and strictly controlled by Bakiev.
Now, with the president alone responsible for the country, he made the nation aware of "evident difficulties" hampering flawless implementation of promises he made after the March 2005 Tulip Revolution. Until recently, the president found an excuse for his failures blaming disloyal Parliament that meddled in his plans and the government's almost absolute independence. Now, the situation has dramatically changed. The head of the state would need additional justification of the present and future troubles.
The first part of his speech was devoted to recent achievements in economy. Besides, the president spoke about the rise in macroeconomics, export and tax revenues as well as social welfare payments and public-sector wages.
"Macroeconomics indices seem quite well. Economy growth amounts to eight per cent. The state budget has risen twofold compared with 2005 and amounts to 41 bln soms. The export capacity of the country has significantly increased.
Economic growth has benefited in extended opportunities to solve social issues, such as decent remuneration for work. Salaries of state and municipal officials have increased by 60 percent. It is the highest rise in payment in living memory," Bakiev said proudly.
Then the president summarized key factors of the new economic and social policy: GDP growth, inflation level, labor capacity, income level and life expectancy.
The president cited the difficulties the country is facing to make the speech sound more realistic. Bakiev's message to the nation seemed like a preparedness call for high inflation level and price hikes the National Bank has forecast recently.
"Significant price hikes and high level of inflation are the main challenges to overcome. You are well informed about upward trend in world energy prices. Kyrgyzstan will be affected by the rise in gas and fuel prices. Kyrgyz economy is still too vulnerable to the fluctuations in the world of hyrdrocarbons market. Unless we undertake some reasonable measures the prices will soar in the first quarter of 2008," Kurmanbek Bakiev said.
Considering the risks, the president admitted that when implementation of major strategic missions of improving the standards of living the country would undeniably encounter grave difficulties stipulated by internal and external factors.
The rest of his speech, ten pages in small type, addressed routine issues of training young professionals, provision of drinking water, development of regions, etc.
"In the end, I would like to stress that the situation forces us to work concurrently and quickly. All plans shall be put into practice and followed through. The whole country waits for the government and Parliament to act!" the president concluded.