Friday, September 15, 2006

The Political Bazaar in Kyrgystan is Open Again: regardless of who framed whom, there are bound to be some new deals on the horizon


President Bakiyev seems to bargaining with his opposition again

Yesterday, the Kyrgyzstan parliament stepped back from its initial demands on Bakiyev and his administration with regards to the Omurbek Tekebayev scandal. At present, the parliament says it will consider a new resolution with demands from the government to be voted on Friday September 15. Among other things, the new resolution has taken the issue of presidential resignation off the table, but it still demands for the establishment of a new coalition government. Given the history of political horse-trading in Kyrgyzstan, this was not a surprising move, but if history is any indication, this only means that the bazaar has only opened, and the deals are only just beginning.

Interestingly, the political horse-trading is taking place in the context of an interesting information war. The internet is full of theories that implicate everybody from the United States (as the perennial enemy of the former Soviet Union) to Kazakhstan (for its still unclear involvement in sending Interpol to apprehend Tekebayev. Furthermore, comments to Kyrgyzstan’s news websites have become a battleground of disinformation and conspiracy theories. Bakiyev has not helped by the adding vaguely that he did not rule out the involvement of foreign governments in this scandal.

Like the Altynbek Sarsenbayev murder in Kazakhstan, therefore, the “matryoshkagate” scandal involving Tekebayev may never be solved in a manner that inspires confidence in the public that justice has been done. As the political horse trading continues, however, the re-ordering of political forces in the country could offer some hints as to who really set up whom and why.

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