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Central Asia news

Kyrgyzstan: President K.Bakiyev takes control of the parliament

31.05.2008 12:04 msk

Vremya Novostei

Politics Kyrgyzstan

The events that transpired in Kyrgyzstan defy imagination. One Aitibai Tagayev, a thoroughly obscure lawmaker, became the second highest-ranking official in the state pecking order. Barely 50, Tagayev became chairman of the Jogorku Kenesh, or parliament.

It happened following the earlier-than-expected resignation of Jogorku Kenesh Chairman Adakhan Madumarov, a politician well known throughout the country. The parliament accepted his resignation by a nearly unanimous vote of 79 "ayes", 1 "nay", and 1 abstention. In fact, Madumarov's resignation had been expected. However, the appointment of his successor - and this is what President Kurmanbek Bakiyev personally engineered - stunned the Kyrgyz elite.

Little is known about Tagayev. Not even Tagayev's colleagues have much to say about him, though they have known Tagayev since March 2005 when he was first elected to the Jogorku Kenesh from the Osh region. Addressing the parliament, Tagayev admitted that his being propelled to the top leadership post took him utterly by surprise. "Orchestrating Tagayev's promotion to chairmanship in the parliament, Bakiyev threw the Constitution out the nearest window," ex-deputy, Temir Sariyev, said. The catch is, Bakiyev did so in the capacity of Ak-Jol leader and suggested Tagayev as the next chairman to the parliamentary faction of his party. As far as Sariyev is concerned, however, Bakiyev should have suspended his Ak-Jol membership for the duration of his presidential term of office.

Anyway, analysts who know the ins and outs of Kyrgyz politics say that in promoting the presumably loyal Tagayev to chairman of Jogorku Kenesh, and rejecting all other candidates out of hand, Bakiyev showed the political establishment who was the boss in Bishkek. In fact, it became the first such forceful demonstration on the president's part.

Vremya Novostei, No 94, May 30, 2008, p. 2. © Translated by Ferghana.Ru