Kyrgyzstan: ousted prime minister becomes deputy chairman of ex-president’s party

Sapar Isakov

BISHKEK (TCA) — Former Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Sapar Isakov, has been elected as a deputy chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) led by ex-President Almazbek Atambayev, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Isakov was elected to the post at an SDPK gathering in Bishkek on April 27, a day after he was questioned by investigators over an incident that left parts of the capital without heating last winter.

Isakov’s election as Atambayev’s deputy is seen by many as a sign of support by the former president for his close ally.

Isakov and his government were dismissed by President Sooronbai Jeenbekov on April 19, hours after lawmakers passed a no-confidence motion initiated by opposition lawmakers following criticism of the government’s annual report.

In an unexpected move, the ruling coalition led by the SDPK abruptly withdrew its backing for Isakov, prompting his cabinet’s fall.

Isakov’s successor, Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev, and his government were sworn in on April 25.

Earlier in April, President Jeenbekov fired several Atambayev allies, including Prosecutor-General Indira Joldubaeva and security-service chief Abdil Segizbaev, who had been criticized for a crackdown on opposition politicians and independent journalists.

Atambayev kept a low profile for several months after leaving office five months ago, but has recently begun publicly criticizing his former protege and anointed successor.

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Times of Central Asia