News / Asia

Kyrgyzstan Searches for Peaceful Transfer of Power


Kyrgyzstan is being run by an interim government, following last week's bloody uprising against President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. The country is now reported to be quiet. But many Kyrgyz people are seeking to establish the institutions needed for the peaceful transfer of power before bloody revolts become institutionalized.

Kyrgyzstan is the only post-Soviet Central Asian country to have forced regime change. In 2005, a popular uprising ousted President Askar Akayev. Last week, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was driven out in a bloody revolt that claimed the lives of more than 80 people.

Interim leaders are proposing constitutional reforms to turn the country into a parliamentary republic to stop presidential abuse of power. The deputy head of the interim government, Almazbek Atambayev, says there is an unfortunate tendency in Asia, and particularly Kyrgyzstan, for presidents to proclaim themselves khans, or tyrants.

Atambayev says Kyrgyzstan should be a parliamentary republic and the president should have minimal authority.  He says interim officials are considering various models, perhaps along the lines of the German constitution, perhaps the one in Turkey.

Independent political analyst Tamerlan Ibragimov says parliamentary rule demands that Kyrgyz political parties learn the art of compromise.

Ibragimov says that, in Kyrgyzstan, there is not so much an absence, as there is an insufficient understanding of what democracy really is; of the importance of procedures, political culture and the ability to negotiate and compromise.

Kyrgyz State University Professor Murat Suimbayev cautions that a parliamentary system could exacerbate political corruption.

Suimbayev says a parliamentary system will increase tribalism and collective irresponsibility.  He says the reason is because, when President Bakiyev abused power, it was clear who was responsible. But if parliament and 100 lawmakers abuse power, it is not at all clear who will be personally responsible.

Analyst Tamerlan Ibragimov says demands of the people for better economic conditions and clean government are slowly merging with the desire of politicians to win positions in a parliamentary republic.

Ibragimov says all of these leaders are already thinking about parliamentary elections in the near future. So he doubts they will be thinking that they need a single leader, but rather they will be working to develop and strengthen their political parties to win those elections.

Professor Murat Suimbayev says many politicians in most post-Soviet countries are former communists or factory directors concerned with manufacturing issues, not the well-being of people.

Suimbayev says that for Soviet-era politicians, the main thing was the economy - fulfilling production plans and the like.  He says they do not know and do not suspect there are values of culture and civilization and do not even want to know about them.

According to Suimbayev, those values include free and fair elections, the rule of law, human rights and a free media.  He says he is not convinced that ordinary people in Kyrgyzstan fully appreciate such things, either.

But Suimbayev says Kyrgyzstan has preserved a spirit of freedom from the time when its people were nomads.  He says that spirit toppled a corrupt regime last week.  He says everyone mourns the loss of those who died in the process and seeks to avoid further loss of life.  Most agree that the orderly transfer of power from one honest government to another can help avoid further bloodshed.

You May Like

Video Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom

Despite release of al-Jazeera journalists and others, Egyptian Journalist Syndicate says some remain imprisoned More

Turkey Survey Indicates Traditional Distrusts, Shift to the West

Comprehensive public opinion survey also found a large majority of those interviewed distrust all countries other than country’s neighbor, Azerbaijan More

Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence in Blasphemy Killing

Highest court upholds sentence of Mumtaz Qadri convicted of 2011 killing a provincial governor for criticizing country’s controversial blasphemy law More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs