BISHKEK (TCA) — On April 7, Kyrgyzstan marked the eighth anniversary of the April People's Revolution. It was the second revolution in the history of independent Kyrgyzstan, which took place in April 2010. The first one was on March 24, 2005.
During the clashes between protesters and security forces on 7 April 2010, 87 people were killed and hundreds were injured.
This date has been officially celebrated since 2016.
“On April 7, 2010, a historic turn was made to the bright future from the path leading the country to a dead end. We once again demonstrated to the whole world that the people of Kyrgyzstan highly appreciates the ideals of justice, will never kneel down and will not tolerate family-clan rule,” Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov said in his address.
Earlier this week, Jeenbekov invited ex-presidents Roza Otunbayeva and Almazbek Atambayev to take part in commemorative events dedicated to the April Revolution anniversary. Atambayev accepted the invitation, but did not take part in official events due to “poor health”, said the secretariat of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) headed by Atambayev. Otunbayeva attended the ceremony.
Those who came to power on the wake of the April 7 events call them historically important, but there are people who hold a different opinion. It is not yet clear what exactly that day brought in terms of history and politics, they say. According to former Parliament Deputy Speaker, Asiya Sasykbaeva, supporters of the Ata Meken opposition party do not consider this date a holiday. It should not be celebrated because young guys were killed, but there are no results of the goals and tasks set, she told the 24.kg news agency. The situation of human rights and freedom of speech has worsened in the country. The judicial system has not been reformed, and the authorities have not been able to depoliticize the law enforcement system, Sasykbaeva said.
Changes in Government
On April 7, President Jeenbekov accepted the resignation of Abdil Segizbayev from the post of Chairman of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS).
On the same day, Segizbayev’s Deputy, Bolot Suyumbayev, was also dismissed. Suyumbayev is known as former bodyguard of ex-President Atambayev.
Segizbayev, a close ally of ex-President Atambayev, was appointed SCNS Chairman in November 2015. In October 2017, he was awarded the Major-General rank.
He graduated from the Agricultural Institute as an agronomist. He began his career at the Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan as a coordinator of the programs "Support to Mass Media" and "Support for Democracy".
Segizbayev was President Askar Akayev’s spokesman. After the revolution in March 2005 and Akayev’s ouster, Segizbayev left politics and worked in public organizations and international programs, where he headed PR and HR departments.
In 2011, after Atambayev was elected President of Kyrgyzstan, Segizbayev was appointed his adviser. A year later he headed the department of information policy at the Presidential Office.
In 2014, Segizbayev was appointed the first Deputy Chairman and a year later — the Chairman of the State Committee for National Security.
As the national security chief, Segizbayev was much criticized by the opposition, in particular, because of arrests of opponents to the ruling regime.
Attorney General of Kyrgyzstan Indira Joldubayeva, also a loyalist to ex-President Atambayev, may lose her post, some MPs say. On April 6, two opposition parliamentary factions — Ata Meken and Respublika - Ata Jurt — were to hear Joldubayeva’s report but she did not attend the meeting due to “poor health”. The report, presented by her deputy Bokonbai Kazakov, was found unsatisfactory by both factions.
According to opposition MPs, the resignation of the Attorney General is quite real, since her activity has recently received a lot of criticism. Most of criminal cases opened at the initiative of the Prosecutor General's Office were politically motivated and ordered from above, they believe. The case of Omurbek Tekebayev is a vivid confirmation of this. An opposition politician and former MP and the head of the Ata Meken Party, Tekebayev was imprisoned on charges of corruption. Last year, he was found guilty of accepting bribes and sentenced to eight years in prison, but later his sentence was reduced to 4.5 years.
Tekebayev denies the charges and considers the case against him to be politically motivated because of his disagreements with Atambayev. Ata Meken opposed constitutional amendments proposed by Atambayev. Tekebayev was the main author of the current Constitution.
A well-known lawyer Cholpon Jakupova believes there are grounds for Joldubayeva to resign. The main task of the Prosecutor General's Office is to oversee the application of laws. But most of the cases are politically motivated, and the application of law is selective, Jakupova said. The Prosecutor General became an instrument in the political struggle, she concluded.
In any case, the final decision will be made by the Parliament.
According to the Constitution, the President may dismiss the Prosecutor General with the consent of at least half of the total number of MPs.
First Deputy Prime Minister resigns?
On April 6, Kyrgyz media reported with reference to Government sources that First Deputy Prime Minister Askarbek Shadiev intended to resign, and his notice of resignation was at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Shadiev’s resignation follows the criminal investigation into the misappropriation of a large amount of budget funds by the former head of the Parliament’s Committee for International Affairs, Defense and Security, Arsen Zakirov. Given that among the signatures on financial documents was that of Shadiev, who then headed the Committee, he was several times interrogated by the State Committee for National Security.
"To ensure a fair and objective investigation, I consider it proper to leave my post," said Shadiev.
Member of the Bir Bol parliamentary faction, Shadiev is the first MP who combines legislative work with the work in the Government, which was allowed by the constitutional amendments which came into force in December 2017.
Shadiev has been First Deputy Prime Minister since December 2017.
There are forecasts that in the near future, several high-profile arrests will be made, and new corruption cases will target influential people in Kyrgyzstan, vb.kg reported.
"Every official involved in corruption crimes should be compulsorily brought to justice, regardless of his previous achievements and merits,” President Jeenbekov said at a meeting with then SCNS Chairman Segizbayev on April 4.
According to MP Irina Karamushkina (SDPK), the current President continues the large-scale work to eradicate corruption, initiated by his predecessor Atambayev. Jeenbekov ordered to review the closed criminal cases of corruption for the past ten years, as many of those cases were not brought to the logical end, she said.