Former Kyrgyzstan prime minister Sariyev to run for president

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan’s former Prime Minister Temir Sariyev has announced that he will run for president in the next election scheduled for this autumn. The announcement was made during Sariyev’s Ak Shumkar political party conference on February 4, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Sariyev, 53, served as prime minister from May 2015 through April 2016, when he resigned after several parliament members accused his cabinet of corruption.

Sariyev was a member of the Kyrgyz parliament from 2000 until 2007. Between April and June 2010, he was a deputy head of the interim government and minister of finance, following the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in a popular uprising in April 2010. From December 2011 until his appointment as prime minister in 2015, Sariyev served as economy minister.

Kyrgyzstan is the only country in Central Asia in which the president is limited to a single term.

Incumbent President Almazbek Atambayev has said publicly that he would not seek political office, including the post of the prime minister, after his presidential term ends.

In December, Kyrgyzstan held a constitutional referendum which approved 26 amendments, including changes shifting key powers from the president to the prime minister.

The move has been criticized by Atambayev’s opponents, who suspect it is designed to pave the way for him to stay in power after his term ends following the election this year.

Sergey Kwan

TCA