24 february 2020

Central Asia news

Experts say administrative resource won victory in Kyrgyzstan presidential election

16.10.2017 17:49 msk


Almazbek Atambayev (left) and Sooronbai Jeenbekov
Lawyers, journalists, and human rights activists in Kyrgyzstan interviewed by Fergana News declared victory of the administrative resource in the presidential election on 15 October.

«This is a victory of the administrative resource and comprehensive state propaganda,» political analyst Naryn Ayip stressed. «It is also possible to deceive the automatic system of vote counting - it is enough to create such conditions in advance that the desired result will be predetermined. It's like distributing questions to all journalists in advance, and then wondering at the press conference: I do not force anyone, they ask such questions themselves. The problem is the electorate itself; 90 percent of whom vote not trying to figure out anything at all and what propaganda targets on. Observers along experts who praise all this aggravate the situation comparing it with the situation in neighboring countries.»

According to the observations of lawyer Baktybek Jumashev, «200 percent of the administrative resource involved.»

«Honestly, everything in our community is in shock. Everyone voted for Babanov. People stood on the street during the day; they discussed who voted for whom. I have never heard the name of Jeenbekov. And it is despite the bribery of votes from the candidate of power. People laughed that they took Jeenbekov's money but voted for his opponent. Thanks to the Internet, you can see what violations were in the polling stations,» Jumashev said.

Lawyer and human rights activist Dinara Mukanbaeva defined the past election as a show of absurdity.

«Initially it started as the first truly democratic election process in the Central Asian region and they have become an example of administrative squabbles and pressure on voters [in the end]. The incumbent head of the state Atambayev, not wishing to leave, managed to promote his protégé with all his strength and literally destroy his competitors.»

Mukanbayeva is afraid of strengthening the position of religion, because «Sooronbai Jeenbekov, as prime minister, personally went to cut ribbons while opening new mosques in the country full of others. Becoming president, how many more mosques will he build? Islamists from the extremist Tablighi Jaamat religious movement, banned in all countries of the region and Russia, will rule the country now. The mufti of the country Maksat Toktomushev is a main Tablighi, the brother-in-law of the Jeenbekov brothers. He successfully gets «OK» and «back» from the state, since the brothers are close to Atambayev.

«Tablighi,» the number of which in Kyrgyzstan, according to official figures, is more than 300 thousand people, I'm sure they voted at the command for «own» [candidate]. There is a great threat to the only country in Central Asia, the «island of democracy» and its secularity!»

According to Daniel Kadyrbekov, political analyst, a graduate of Kobe University (Japan), the election results were anticipated.

«At least, careful analysts and observers had no illusions that something of a kind would happen in real democracies. For example, in Mongolia, where the opposition candidate won,» he explained. «Omurbek Babanov lost, despite all the measurable factors. It indicates that the illusion of «democracy,» which the Atambayev regime used for donors, is a typical façade/screen of an evolving authoritarian regime."

Kadyrbekov is sure that there is no need to expect any reforms in internal and external economic affairs of Kyrgyzstan: «The balance of power in the political field has not changed, only castling has taken place. To do radical changes and build a state governed by the rule of law Jeenbekov would have revised the last six years, which affect the interests of Atambayev. I doubt that Jeenbekov will take such a step, and the development of Kyrgyzstan is impossible without it.»

«The role of parliament will weaken and will be purely nominal," the analyst continues. «It will happen for the public legitimisation of the initiatives of a narrow group in power. The crackdown against opponents and the media will intensify since it is an axiom of authoritarian power to eliminate competitors and those who prevent usurpation of power. For example, when the authorities «constrained» Tekebayev they promised Babanov fair election in exchange for his silence and loyalty. Babanov fulfilled his mission. Now, quite possibly, he's next on the line. Authoritarian power can not repress all opponents at the same time, the forces are asymmetric, so they choose a scheme «one at a time.»

The human rights lawyer Nurbek Toktakunov having agreed that the administrative resource did its job noted that "Omurbek Babanov was not a full-fledged opponent of the Atambayev successor. He always acted with caution expressing no clear position on issues fundamentally unpleasant for the president. As if hoping for "people's love" [only].

«You cannot serve the general line of the president with all your membership in the parliament and fake opposition and the second largest faction in the parliament to look indifferently at how they oppressed the civil society, to keep quiet and even gloat when they cracked Tekebayev down. He refrained from stating his position on any principle issue even during the electoral process. And after all this, he wanted to win?»

In Kyrgyzstan, no presidential elections can be without violations a priori, said media expert Nurdin Urmanbetov.

«Even it is not worth to argue over this topic. Everything mixed up into one pile - both honest votes and violations by all candidates without exception. The result was predictable in advance. However, this presidential election significantly differ from the previous ones by one feature - the personality of Almazbek Atambayev.

It's no secret that in Kyrgyzstan, party and state government base on no ideology, but on the person of politics. Atambayev showed a strength of character and toughness against opponents. The main opponent, Omurbek Babanov, decided to officially fix the percentage of the electorate through election he will need after 1 December, when Almazbek Sharshenovich [patronymic name sometimes expressed out of respect in post-Soviet cultures - note by Fergana] leaves the chair of the republic's president and hands over the rule to Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Kyrgyz politicians believe that the softer Jeenbekov, even driven by Atambayev, will be moderately compliant. Here, Babanov will need official data on the number of the electorate as a lever of pressure. The problem is now one thing - to safely reach December and avoid the press of the still-incumbent President Atambayev, who once again threatened to clear the political field. Probably the most real political games have just begun».

Fergana News Agency