Kyrgyzstan: Lawmakers vote to strip ex-President Atambayev of immunity


BISHKEK (TCA) — The Kyrgyz parliament on June 20 voted to strip former President Almazbek Atambayev of immunity from prosecution amid a growing power struggle in the Central Asian nation.

The lawmakers approved the resolution 100-to-5 amid claims Atambayev abused his powers while in office. The vote follows a rash of arrests of former officials close to Atambayev as his successor seeks to consolidate power, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Atambayev ruled Kyrgyzstan for a six-year term that ended in 2017, helping pass the reigns of power to his former prime minister, Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

While Atambayev expected Jeenbekov would continue his policies, his successor quickly turned against him.

A parliamentary commission this week accused Atambayev of six counts of misconduct, including corruption, prompting the June 20 vote to strip him of immunity.

The process of removing the former president’s immunity could take two weeks, lawmaker Kanybek Imanaliev said.

The June 20 decision comes as Jeenbekov’s government pursues officials close to the former president.

Kyrgyz authorities earlier this month arrested Manasbek Arabaev, the ex-chief of the presidential office’s department for judicial system reform, on corruption charges.

Sapar Isakov and Jantoro Satybaldiev, both of whom served as prime minister under Atambayev, have also been charged with corruption.

Earlier, Kyrgyz authorities arrested Adamkul Junusov, the former customs chief, and Ikramjan Ilmiyanov, a former adviser, on similar charges.

Sergey Kwan