Kyrgyzstan’s ruling party names current PM as single presidential candidate

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BISHKEK (TCA) — The pro-presidential Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) has named the country’s Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov the party’s single candidate for the presidential election due to be held on October 15, Kyrgyz media reported.

The decision was made at the party’s congress on July 15.

Jeenbekov will have to leave the post of the Prime Minister after his registration as a presidential candidate by the Central Election Commission.

Speaking at the SDPK congress, Jeenbekov outlined Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy priorities he would pursue if elected president.

Jeenbekov said that Russia will remain the key partner for Kyrgyzstan, but the country is ready to develop cooperation with China and other countries in the framework of integration projects such as the SCO, the United Energy System and China’s One Belt, One Road project. He also spoke for sooner completion of the delimitation and demarcation of Kyrgyzstan’s border with neighboring countries, 24.kg news agency reported.

Jeenbekov spoke for increasing Kyrgyz exports to Eurasian Economic Union and European Union countries, suggesting a program of state support for export-oriented enterprises.

The presidential candidate also suggested a program to involve more young people in the country’s government bodies, especially at the middle level. In Jeenbekov’s opinion, in the next five years young people must account for at least 25 percent of all state government employees.

Other candidates for Kyrgyzstan’s presidency include the leader of opposition Ata Meken party Omurbek Tekebayev (arrested in February on corruption charges), former Prime Minister Temir Sariev, leader of the parliamentary faction Onuguu-Progress Bakyt Torobayev, and leader of Respublika — Ata-Jurt parliamentary faction Omurbek Babanov, among a handful of other, less popular candidates.

Sergey Kwan

TCA