A coalition and government formed in Kyrgyzstan

Chynybay Tursunbekov (SDPK), Omurbek Tekebayev (Ata Meken), Kanatbek Isaev (Kyrgyzstan) and Bakyt Torobaev (Onuguu Progress) at the ceremony of signing the coation agreement. Credits: Kygryz parliament's press office

Chynybay Tursunbekov (SDPK), Omurbek Tekebayev (Ata Meken), Kanatbek Isaev (Kyrgyzstan) and Bakyt Torobaev (Onuguu Progress) at the ceremony of signing the coation agreement. Credits: Kygryz parliament’s press office

3 Nov. — In Kyrgyzstan, the ruling coalition formed earlier presented the new government composition and structure. Minimal changes were made, so it is possible to state confidently that the current political and economic trajectory will continue.

Parliamentary elections in the country were held back on 4 October. (Europe Insight has already written about their outcome.) Since then, the parties have been deciding who will represent them in parliament and what configuration the ruling coalition should have. It was only on 28 October that the final lists of the new deputies made their appearance and on 2 November that the agreement on the creation of a coalition of the majority was signed. The Social Democratic Party (SDPK), Kyrgyzstan, Onuguu-Progress, and Ata Meken entered into the coalition. The quartet thus united 80 out of 120 deputies.

The Republic – Ata Zhurt and Bir Bol parties chose to remain in the opposition. Although for a long time the first was seen as the most reliable partner for a coalition, this predictable outcome did not manifest, primarily, because of the position of Republic – Ata Zhurt’s leader Omurbek Babanov, who insisted that the programme of his party specifically serve as the basis for that of the alliance, and secondly, due to the position of the rest of the negotiations’ participants, who were against union with the party.

Though somewhat different than expected, the composition of the coalition did not hamper the partners in making appointments to parliament and government committees. The main changes affected the very structure of the cabinet of ministers. There will be no ministries of defence or labour, migration and youth in the new government, nor will there be a ministry of energy and industry. The functions of the former ministries will transfer to the State Committee for Defence Affairs, the State Committee for Migration and Employment, the Ministry of the Economy and the National Energy Holding, accordingly.

However, personnel reshuffling was kept to a minimum. Acting prime minister – Temir Sariev (independent) – was put forward for the post of chairman of the government. Arzybek Kozhoshev heads the Ministry of the Economy and Industry, Melis Turganbaev – the MIA, Zhyldyz Mambetalieva – Ministry of Justice, Adylbek Kasymaliev – Ministry of Finance, Kubatbek Boronov – Ministry of Emergency Situations , Kudaibergan Bazarbaev – Ministry of Social Development .

Elvira Sareiva will stay at the helm of the Ministry of Education and Science. The Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism will remain Altynbek Maksutov, and the Minister of Health Care – Talantbek Batyraliev. Argynbek Malabaev will retain his post as Minister of Transport and Communication. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to remain under the leadership of Erlan Abydldaev, and the State Committee for National Security under that of Busurmankul Tabaldiev. The president will himself put forward the candidate for the post of Chairman of the State Committee for Defence Affairs. Only the Minister of Agriculture will be new – Turdunazir Bekboev.

Opinions are divided as to the prospects for the coalition and government’s structural reform. Political scientist Denis Berdakov thinks that the new alliance has sufficiently strong positions and a stable outlook in the executive branch. “The new alliance is mostly stable by virtue of the fact that pro-presidential forces in the face the Kyrgyzstan and SDPL parties won 56 seats in parliament,” he commented to Europe Insight.

According to politician Edil Baisalov, these decisions are greatly detrimental to public administration and the country’s national prestige. “What do we want to acknowledge, that we no longer have full sovereignty or bear responsibility for our own defence? Have we suffered a military defeat like Japan, who as a gesture of its rejection of militarism lacked a ministry of defence until 2006, having only a national defence administration? Absolutely incomprehensible! We are not talking about a simple name change, friends, but this reflects some kind of really reprehensible policy related to rolling back national sovereignty,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Political analyst Igor Shestakov thinks that the liquidation of the Ministry of Defence was a fully foreseeable step within the framework of reform. “A reformatting of the administrative system occurred with the transfer of the basic functions of the armed forces’ activities to the General Staff. Therefore, everything here is quite sensible. I expect there to be a personnel reduction in this ministry. All the more so that the real tasks for ensuring the security of the state have been handled in recent years to a large degree by the Border Service, which needs strengthened both in terms of staffing and as far as logistics,” he told Europe Insight.

With regard to the Ministry of Energy, in the viewpoint of the political scientist, it should have been liquidated in spring rather than at the start of the heating season, as this could have a negative effect on consumers. “I think the liquidation of the Ministry of Youth, Labour and Migration was a rash move. Although all of the parties that entered parliament had promised to solve the problems of migration and employment for citizens, they began solving them in a pretty strange way,” the expert concluded, explaining that the level of attention to these problems is lowered thereby.

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