Expert: 'Clans' in Kyrgyzstan need to agree upon structure of new government

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 24 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova /

To stabilize the political situation in Kyrgyzstan, it is necessary to gather representatives of all "clans" and agree upon the structure of the new government in the country, said an American expert on Central Asia Bruce Pannier.

"I think that the new Kyrgyz government can resolve the disorder, for this it needs to gather representatives of all the "clans" and agree upon how the government will be established in the country," Pannier, expert of Radio Liberty, wrote in an e-mail to Trend.

After mass protests in Kyrgyzstan in early April the government was dismissed and the opposition seized the power. This is the second overthrow of the government after independence. Official President Kurmanbek Bakiyev came to power as a result of revolution five years ago. Now the country is controlled by the so-called interim government, formed of representatives of the opposition headed by Rosa Otunbayeva.

The new government's ability to manage the situation in Kyrgyzstan depends on many things, the expert said.

The interim government has already stated that the best option for Kyrgyzstan could be a parliamentary republic. A possible meeting of "clans" could cover this question, the expert said.

At this stage, according to Pannier, the new government should try to fulfill the promises to the people, for example, Otunbayeva promised to reduce tariffs for utilities and electricity.

Exactly this was the impetus for anti-government demonstrations which led to the overthrow of power in Kyrgyzstan. "Also those responsible for the bloodshed in Bishkek and other cities of the country should be prosecuted and convicted," said Pannier.

The disorders in the country killed dozens of people, wounded more than hundred people.

According to the expert, it's hard to predict the events, but if the interim government implements the measures assigned, the situation in the country could fall back to normal.

Of course, much depends on external factors, but also Russia, China and Kazakhstan, and the United States supported the new authorities of the country, and this, in turn, may lead to stabilization, he said.

The first thing is to ensure all the government does is transparent to the people. The Bakiyev government, and the Akayev government to a lesser extent, were perceived by the people to be corrupt and there was the feeling huge amounts of money that should have been used to improve the standard of living in Kyrgyzstan was instead going into the pockets of officials, expert said.

"Akayev had developed his own system of patronage, friends and allies who were given opportunities for personal enrichment through their connection to the Kyrgyz president. When Akayev was ousted and Bakiyev came to power there were suddenly "new pockets" to fill.

Akayev's system of patronage had collapsed and those whose economic fortunes rose during Akayev's time in office lost their protector. Bakiyev's friends and associates, including allegedly his son Maksim, replaced them.

People in Kyrgyzstan know this and will be watching to make sure friends of the new leadership do not suddenly become owners of leading industries and businesses in the country, expert said.

Kyrgyzstan is going to need a lot of financial and political support, expert said.

There are serious economic problems in the country - like electricity and the price for electricity - that need to show improvement quickly, he said.

"If there are problems with electricity when the weather turns colder (coincidentally about the time elections should held - October) the people are likely to view this as a failure for the new leadership, " he said.

The first thing to see is if the new leadership can keep to a minimum the amount of reasons people could have for protesting and demonstrating, he said. 

"During the first 18 months of Bakiyev's first term as president there were numerous protests for a number of reasons. Will the people be more patient this time and give the new government time to start moving the country forward? Can the new government do enough, quickly enough, to give the people a reason to support it?," he said.

There is redistribution of power and property in Kyrgyzstan again. Bakiyev's supports leave, new people come into politics and business, expert said.

When Bakiyev became acting head of state, and then was elected president, a number of prominent opposition figures were included in the temporary government (Rosa Otunbayeva was one of them). Some of them lost their positions when it came to the Parliament and approval of candidates by the Minister and other governmental posts. Some of those who lost their positions, later helped in the creation of opposition.

This scenario is likely to be repeated in Kyrgyzstan. Not everyone in the opposition that is now governing Kyrgyzstan can get a place in the government and so there is the question - will they then come out in opposition to the government elected this October?

Another big question is what will a parliamentary system look like in Kyrgyzstan?

There are some 100 registered political parties and movements in Kyrgyzstan, not to mention scores of domestic nongovernmental organizations that are deeply involved in the politics of the country.

Can there be a proper balance of representation in parliament that still allows legislation to be passed or will it become a forum for endless arguments and bickering?

There are a lot of questions which should be given to a new government, expert said.

"After not seeing much change since 2005 it may be enough for Kyrgyzstan's people to simply see slow improvement and a leadership that seems to be dealing honestly with affairs of state," expert said.

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