Mayor of Kyrgyzstan’s capital gets no-confidence vote

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BISHKEK (TCA) — City council members of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, decided unanimously to remove Mayor Albek Ibraimov in a no-confidence vote on July 13 while he was on vacation.

The move came a week after Ibraimov’s deputy, Renat Makenov, was arrested on charges of abusing his power.

In a video message on July 13, Ibraimov called the vote of no-confidence expressed by the City Council a political order, 24.kg information agency reported.

The mayor said that he learned about the meeting of the capital’s council members too late, as he was on a three-day trip in the mountains.

“The decision of the City Council is a political order,” he said.

According to the Law on the Status of the Capital, in case of vote of no-confidence in the mayor of the capital city, Kyrgyzstan’s Prime Minister has the right to decide whether to dismiss the mayor or disagree with the decision of the city council, 24.kg reports.

Ibraimov, who was Bishkek mayor since 2016, is a close ally of Kyrgyzstan’s former President Almazbek Atambayev, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports.

Former prime ministers Jantoro Satybaldiev and Sapar Isakov, who served during Atambayev’s tenure, were arrested last month in a corruption case.

In April, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov fired several of Atambayev’s allies, including Prosecutor-General Indira Joldubaeva and the head of the State Committee for National Security, Abdil Segizbaev.

The pressure put by authorities on Atambayev’s allies is seen as evidence of a rift between Atambayev and Jeenbekov, an ex-prime minister who was tapped by Atambayev as his favored successor in Kyrgyzstan’s October 2017 presidential election but has clashed with his former boss in recent months.

Atambayev, who was limited to a single six-year term by the constitution, initially kept a low profile after leaving office in November.

Following his election as head of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan on March 31, however, he has publicly criticized Jeenbekov.

Sergey Kwan

TCA