Kyrgyz parliament approves bills to protect private property, fight corruption

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BISHKEK (TCA) — This week Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament discussed a draft law “On the inviolability of private property”.

According to the bill’s authors, it aims to protect private property by ensuring its inviolability. There were many cases when officials violated the legitimate rights and interests of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs should know that they can invest in their businesses without fears, and dispose of their property, knowing that the State is the guardian of the legal rights of private owners, the bill’s authors say. The MPs have approved the bill.

During discussions, MP and ex-Finance Minister Akylbek Japarov proposed allowing business people to have weapons. “If the Government does not protect private property, we should allow entrepreneurs to bear arms like in the USA,” he said.

“During 25 years (since independence) we have been saying that we are building a civil society and live in a capitalist world, so the private property must be a ‘holy crown’, which should be inherited. Two revolutions have frightened business people, to say nothing about foreign investors. We are now talking about domestic entrepreneurs who live next to us and about the people who infringe on private property.” Japarov spoke about persons who “have crawled” into power and are using the levers of power, tax services, financial police and the courts “to seize business property”.

The MP concluded that that private property should be protected with a weapon in hands. “We apply to the police, but it does protect us, and courts make wrong decisions, and we have to apply to other people who can solve everything without courts,” Japarov said.

Speaking about “other people,” the MP apparently meant criminal gangs.

Reporting on corruption

The Parliament has also approved the draft Law “On the protection of persons reporting corruption offenses”, which provides for a reward to citizens reporting on corruption crimes.

The bill aims to ensure the protection of persons reporting in the public interest about illegal activities of the state bodies, local authorities, enterprises, and organizations with state share.

According to the bill the State would pay informers cash remuneration in the amount of 30 percent of prevented damage (if the fact of corruption is confirmed), but the remuneration should not exceed one million soms.

During the bill’s discussion, MPs expressed concern that compensation funding will burden the national budget. The law would not be fully realized until the sources of funding for remuneration are found.

The MPs also adopted the norm according to which informers can not be dismissed or assigned to another office for three years, which would protect whistleblowers from possible persecution, retaliation or pressure.

Unprecedented action

MP Omurbek Tekebayev has opened an email address and asked Kyrgyz citizens to use it to inform him of any case of corruption.

The response of the civil society and media was rather ambiguous. Some sincerely believe in the noble motives of the MP while others doubt the sincerity of Tekebayev’s move.

Why the well-known politician, the leader of the Ata Meken parliamentary faction, and the author of the current Constitution, who has been working for many years in the higher government echelons, has suddenly taken such unprecedented action against corrupt officials?

Ex-MP Omurbek Abdrakhmanov does not believe in the purity of intentions of the “father of the Constitution”. Tekebayev has launched “a sleaze war” against the President and pro-presidential Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), Abdrakhmanov believes. “Tekebayev waited for the time when the President’s term of office is closing to an end, just to take his place himself. It is that time now. He is dreaming of becoming President. His goal now is to please opposition-minded people,” Abdrakhmanov said in an interview with the Vesti.kg information agency.

According to experts, reports on corruption should be addressed to the General Prosecutor’s Office or the Interior Ministry, and Tekebayev is going to use reports on corruption for his own political interests.