Kyrgyzstan: There will be no Revolution-3 or The opposition’s voluntary fiasco
Photo: sign on the fence surrounding the Kyrgyzstan parliament building. Photo from the Facebook account of Zhanabil Davletbaev, facebook.com/zhanabil.kg
The events that took place by the walls of the Kyrgyz White House yesterday cannot possibly called a «storming» or a violent effort to capture power. They can rather be called a «hurdle race» or, at most, «hooliganism with resistance to police workers». The third of October will never go into the history books, like the March or April dates of 2005 and 2010.
It is best to see how the events unfolded on the video made by Bishkek journalists. The leader of the opposition party Ata Jurt Kambichek Tashiyev, who led the «attack» on the parliament building and presidential administration and his supporters (around twenty people) were unarmed. Meeting hardly any resistance, they went over the fence and were detained by the police and soldiers.
Not a single OMON agent suffered. Tashiyev «damaged the third upper part of the hip» (to put it crudely, his behind), and some more people got light injuries. Incidentally, they all declined medical services afterwards.
In the evening, Kamchibek Tashiyev, his associate and the actual organiser of the protest Sadyr Zhaparov, as well as Talant Mamitov, an Ata Jurt MP, were detained for 48 hours and put in a State Committee of National Security detention facility. Official accusations will be presented to them only in two days, but already today, in the country’s towns hapless Ata-Jurters are starting protests and people’s actions.
How large these protests grow will influence the government’s reaction and the political future of the failed «revolutionaries». If thousands and tens of thousands go out onto the streets of Jalal-Abad and Osh (Ata-Jurt has most of its support in the South), then the central authorities (read: the president and government) will have to come to an arrangement with Mr Tashiyev. If only a small number of the jailed MPs’ relatives and «comrades» paid by their staff come out onto the square (which is more likely) then the «Revolutionaries — 3», with their torn trousers, will not receive any leniency. As the official documents say «the guilty will be treated using the strongest measures within the existing legal framework.»
At the protest to defend the detained K. Tashiyev, S. Zhaparov and T. Mamitov. Photo by Fergana
From the very beginning of the vigorous political careers of all the aforementioned Ata-Jurt MPs, people had associated their activities with the name of the previous (second) president of the country — Kurmanbek Bakiyev. There were rumours that it is into this «Southern», «patriotic» power that the escaped criminal president is putting his hopes for revenge. Recently, direct evidence of links of Ata-Jurt’s leadership with Mr Bakiyev, who is the subject of an international search, have been coming to the fore. Maybe, this was the reason for the odd manoeuvre — the «storming» of the parliament?
Two weeks ago, the leader of the Ata-Jurt party Sadyr Zhaparov was said to be involved in buying property which formerly belonged to the son of the ex-president, Maxim Bakiyev. Zhaparov, having sharply refuted these accusations of fraud and participation in off-loading assets acquired through criminal means, immediately said that this is how the authorities are avenging him for «exposing the mafia in Kumtor.»
Nevertheless, the facts about Sadyr Zhaparov’s involvement in Bakiyev’s activities did not come out by accident, but as a result of an investigation into the fate of the Bakiyev family «inheritance», which has been going on since summer 2010. It is likely that the investigation has more evidence which could be used as a serious foundation in the accusations made against Mr Zhaparov (and probably against Mr Tasyiev). In this situation, colleagues from the «Bakiyev» past have not found anything better than to create a loud street action, in order to turn into «victims of the political regime» from criminals in five minutes.
The thing is that for every politician of post-revolutionary Kyrgyzstan there is nothing worse than being added to the company of ex-president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who remains the official reason for all of the state’s problems and the object of national hatred. Evidence of links to Bakiyev is more frightening for the image of a Kyrgyz politician than any other accusations. This is precisely why Zhaparov and Tashiyev are moving the goal posts to «national wealth» — the Kumtor gold mine, the return of which they are supposedly fighting for, and for which they are supposedly being persecuted.
However, Ata-Jurt leaders will not make good «political victims.» Judging by the last parliamentary and presidential elections, Mr Tashiyev and Mr Zhaparov have no more than 15% of the vote and risk losing this support. A Dzhigit will never be forgiven for breaking into someone’s house, watching, but not finally being able to steal the bride.
An unsuccessful jump over the parliament fence, which did not end up in capturing power, can cost the opposition their entire political future. All the more so since they have no supporters in the other leading parties and movements. As one of Fergana’s sources in the government said, all of Kyrgyzstan’s political power «lies under the president.»
As for Almazbek Atambayev, for him Mr Tashiyev’s torn trousers are the best gift. Having urgently returned from vacation due to the aforementioned circumstances, the president will be excellent at playing the role of a strict but fair father of the nation, who stands to defend law and democracy.
Fergana international information agency. Translated by Sophia Matveeva