BISHKEK (TCA) — On April 20, the Kyrgyz Parliament elected Mukhammedkaly Abylgaziev the new Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, and President Sooronbai Jeenbekov signed a decree for his appointment. 115 out of the 120 Parliament members voted for the new PM.
Abylgaziev, 50, has become the 30th Prime Minister since Kyrgyzstan’s independence. He worked as the First Deputy Prime Minister in the Government of Sooronbai Jeenbekov in 2017, and headed the President’s Office since 16 March 2018.
The Parliament also approved the composition of the new Cabinet and the program of the new Prime Minister.
On April 19, the Parliament passed a no-confidence motion against the previous Prime Minister Sapar Isakov, whose Government worked seven months and 25 days.
The composition of the Government has changed by half, and its structure has remained the same.
All four deputy prime ministers have been changed. Kubatbek Boronov, who has been elected the First Deputy Prime Minister, earlier headed the Emergency Ministry. The economic bloc will be supervised by Deputy Prime Minister Zamirbek Askarov (former vice-mayor of Osh city). New Deputy Prime Minister Jenish Razakov was an adviser to the President, head of the Security Council, and Deputy Prime Minister. New Deputy Prime Minister for the social bloc, Altynai Omurbekova, is a member of the Respublka— Ata-Jurt parliamentary faction, and formerly vice-mayor of Bishkek.
The list of new ministers includes Minister of Internal Affairs Kashkar Junushaliev, Economy Minister Oleg Pankratov (he headed the ministry in 2015, and also was Deputy Prime Minister), Minister of Emergency Situations Nurbolot Mirzakhmedov (previously Auditor of the Accounting Chamber of Kyrgyzstan), and Healthcare Minister Kosmosbek Cholponbaev (ex-Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Union of Kyrgyzstan).
Idris Kadyrkulov (ex-head of the State Committee for National Security’s department for Osh and the Osh Oblast) has become the Chairman of the State Committee for National Security.
The other ministers have retained their posts including Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev, Justice Minister Ainur Abdyldaeva, Finance Minister Adylbek Kasymaliev, Agriculture Minister Nurbek Murashev, Transport Minister Jamshitbek Kalilov, Education Minister Gulmira Kudaibergenova, Culture Minister Sultan Jumagulov, and Labor Minister Taalaykul Isakunova.
New old Government
"The previous Government of [young] spoiled boys has been changed for old persons. I cannot call it a new Cabinet, because they are ‘the used ones’,” MP Ryskeldi Mombekov commented on the composition of the new Government. He expressed doubts about the professionalism of the new deputy prime ministers because there is not a single economist among them.
When discussing the candidacy of the new Prime Minister, the MPs advised to revise the Government’s structure and reduce the number of ministries and deputy prime ministers.
There are currently 33 ministries, state committees, services, funds and inspectorates in the Kyrgyz Government while the United States has only 15 such bodies, Kazakhstan — 17, and Georgia — 14.
The Government should be compact and mobile, the MPs believe. Abylgaziev replied that the structure of the Government will be revised.
Vote of no confidence
The news that MPs expressed a vote of no confidence in the Government of Isakov shocked many citizens and caused a lot of feedback.
There is an opinion that Kyrgyzstanis should not hope that the problems will be solved with the resignation of Sapar Isakov.
The Prime Minister can improve the lives of people in Kyrgyzstan, since the recent changes in the Constitution give him great powers. “There are many talented managers in the country. But I'm afraid none of them have the opportunity to become a prime minister," political expert Arkady Gladilov told Vesti.kg. The unceasing competition between representatives of the elite will not allow the situation to be different, he added.
It is important that the MPs support the new Prime Minister, not interfere in his work. The President and Prime Minister should work on the program of the country's development together. The continuity of economic policy is especially important, so that the new head of the Cabinet will continue the projects of his predecessors.
Expert Tabyldy Akerov is sure that Abylgaziev’s work will bring more effect than that of Sapar Isakov. In his opinion, the former prime minister was too young (he is 40) and inexperienced, and he did not understand the specifics of the Government’s work and was excessively engaged in self-PR.
Prime Minister Abylgaziev presented his Government’s Program "Unity. Confidence. Creation".
The most important task for the Government is to make the Kyrgyz economy competitive and attractive to the national business and foreign investors, he said, adding that he will continue the work aimed at improving the activities of fiscal bodies.
“The society and business are tired of the illegal actions of the fiscal bodies, and therefore our main goal will be automation of most of the processes of tax and customs administration, which is important for fighting corruption,” he said.
Business opportunities will be expanded in areas where the state is a monopolist. The PPP mechanisms will be widely implemented.
The State will focus on providing guarantees of property rights and investments, simplification of business regulation and transparency of all government procedures.
It is necessary to attract international companies and technologies to the Kyrgyz economy. A high-quality logistics infrastructure should provide access to neighboring markets, he said.
The country needs modernization of the energy sector, roads, water supply, municipal facilities. Taking into account previous mistakes, the process of attracting and directing public and private investments will be more transparent and accountable to society.
The fastest scenario
The Government change was prompted by the appointment of Bolot Suyumbaev as the financial police agency chairman by Prime Minister Isakov on April 16, experts say. Suyumbaev, a close ally to ex-President Atambayev, was dismissed by President Jeenbekov from the post of Deputy Chairman of the State National Security Committee on April 7.
This appointment angered the President's entourage, experts say. Earlier, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDPK) parliamentary faction Isa Omurkulov said that the appointment of Suyumbayev after the President had removed him from office indicates that a confrontation between the President and Prime Minister Isakov began.
The MPs have chosen the fastest way to dismiss the Government — through the expression of a vote of no confidence to Isakov. In the history of Kyrgyzstan, this happened for the first time, which may indicate either the tension of the situation or a prepared scenario, experts say.
In accordance with the Law "On the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic", Prime Minister dismissed by a vote of no-confidence has no status of an ex-PM. That means that Isakov will be considered a person who did nothing at his post. It is the worst scenario for any head of a Cabinet, experts believe.
A puppet Parliament?
The fact that 101 MPs voted for no confidence in the Cabinet shows that almost all MPs primarily protect their selfish interests but not the interests of the state, political analyst Ainura Arzimatova believes.
“Unfortunately, the Parliament became a puppet in the hands of a narrow group of influential persons. Most grieving is that the majority of the SDPK faction [SDPK is the party founded and headed by ex-President Atambayev] voted for the Government's resignation. The SDPK could not resist the influence of a narrow but influential group of MPs,” Arzimatova told Vesti.kg, adding that it would not have happened in a country with a developed parliamentary system.