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BISHKEK (TCA) — In Kyrgyzstan, the Parliament, media and the public are increasingly discussing the possible resignation of the Government of Prime Minister Sapar Isakov. Attempts to change the cabinet are usually strengthened in the spring, political analysts say.

At the parliamentary session on March 28, MP from the Respublika — Ata-Jurt opposition parliamentary faction, Kurmankul Zulushev, suggested changing the cabinet of ministers.

Political bankruptcy?

The Kyrgyz people complained to MPs about the accident occurred at the Bishkek heat and power plant on January 26 and other cases where one can see the signs of corruption, he said. Despite an expensive modernization, as the result of the accident, most of the capital city residents remained without heating when the air temperature outside was minus 20 degrees Celsius, including hospitals and schools. “The citizens demand to provide the public with a full report about the accident,” Zulushev said.

He also recalled that the Government signed an agreement with the Czech company Liglass on the construction of the Upper Naryn cascade of hydro power plants, and then the project was terminated.

The Government is going towards political bankruptcy, the MP concluded.

Assessing results

Critics of the current Government also spoke about the termination of the agreement with the Chinese company Huawei on the Smart City project. On March 14, the Kyrgyz Government decided to withdraw from the agreement on the Smart City investment project and announced its intention to implement it on its own. The $60 million Smart City project plans to introduce a video surveillance system in two of the country's largest cities — Bishkek and Osh, and on major roads.

The Government’s work is assessed by how each sector of the economy and each Government's department works. The accident at the Bishkek HPP revealed the Government’s disorganization and weak governance in the energy sector. Work in other areas also shows the Government’s inefficiency, MPs of the opposition factions believe.

The Government has lost the confidence of the population and should therefore resign at its own will, public figure Edil Baisalov told Azattyk commenting on the situation around the Smart City project.

According to MP Janar Akaev (ruling Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan), the reason for the recent launching of a new criminal case against former presidential candidate Omurbek Babanov lies in the dispute over the votes for resignation of the head of the Government and subsequent election of a new prime minister. The votes of Babanov’s Respublika — Ata-Jurt parliamentary faction, which has 28 seats in parliament, will be needed, he told Super.kg news agency.

Population’s confidence

Last week, First Deputy Prime Minister Askarbek Shadiev was interrogated by the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan (SCNS) within the criminal case initiated on the fact of inappropriate use of $30 thousand by the Parliament.

Shadiev is the first deputy Prime Minister in the history of Kyrgyzstan who also remains a parliament member. On December 7, 2017, being an MP from the Bir Bol parliamentary faction, he took the post of First Deputy Prime Minister, and earlier, on December 1, 2017, amendments to the Constitution had come into force allowing the prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed from among the Parliament members retain their deputy mandates.

Former head of the Government’s Office Nurkhanbek Momunaliev was also interrogated in connection with an illegal tender for the purchase of boilers for the Bishkek HPP.

In April, the Government will present a report on the implementation of the 2017 budget in Parliament. If corruption is revealed in the execution of the budget, the Parliament will make an appropriate decision, the MPs said.

Background

The Government headed by Sapar Isakov was approved by the Parliament on August 25, 2017.

Prior to Isakov, there were six Governments in the country, and only current President Sooronbai Jeenbekov left the Prime Minister’s office due to his participation in the presidential election, while all the other former prime ministers resigned because of unsolved problems.

Seven prime ministers have been replaced since 2010 but there was not a single case of dismissal of a cabinet minister due to mistrust.

Prime Minister’s powers

The powers of the head of Government are now broader than those of the president. Accordingly, the responsibility has increased. The socio-economic and other spheres are subordinate to the executive branch, and the future of the country depends on the work of the Government.

The latest constitutional amendments have strengthened the powers of the Prime Minister, who now conducts independent personnel policy and is personally responsible for it.

The Government is formed according to the quota of parliamentary factions that are members of the majority coalition in the Parliament.

Resignation scenarios

Dastan Bekeshev, an MP from the ruling Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, opposes the Government’s resignation.

In case of resignation, the Parliament deputies will need to form a new majority coalition within 20 days, and then a newly-elected prime minister would have to assimilate the new office and daily routine, which would take months. That would only worsen the situation in the country.

The current Government should work, “but we must point out its mistakes, so that they will not be repeated from now on. The resignation of the Government can lead to a political crisis,” MP Bekeshev believes.

Frequent changes of Government are not good for the country. If the Government works for a long period of time, it would have the opportunity to achieve its goals, Bekeshev said.

Prime Minister Isakov is still perceived as a young prime minister, but his latest personnel decisions show that he will not turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of Government departments and high-level officials, analyst Igor Shestakov said.

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