Kyrgyz prime minister dismissed after losing confidence vote
Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbai Jeenbekov sacks the government of Sapar Isakov after a surprise no-confidence vote in parliament amid an apparent power struggle.
Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov (L) dismissed Prime Minister Sapar Isakov’s (R) government after over a hundred lawmakers voted for the move. (Reuters Archive)
Kyrgyzstan on Thursday jettisoned its 29th prime minister in less than three decades of independence as new President Sooronbai Jeenbekov looks to cement control over the Central Asian country.
Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to dismiss the government of Prime Minister Sapar Isakov, a 40-year-old technocrat viewed as a loyalist of the country’s former leader Almazbek Atambayev.
Jeenbekov subsequently signed an order confirming the government’s dismissal.
A total of 101 legislators voted for the move with just five against, according to an official parliamentary protocol.
The vote indicated broad parliamentary support for Jeenbekov, 59, who is now expected to play a key role in determining the next prime minister.
Tensions since 2017
Jeenbekov came to power in a bitterly fought presidential election last year while enjoying strong support from Atambayev, 61, who was limited to a single term in office by the constitution.
But tensions have since emerged between the pair after Atambayev criticised appointments made by Jeenbekov and called for the new president’s brother, Asylbek, to relinquish his seat in parliament in a public appearance last month.
Earlier this month Jeenbekov fired key Atambayev allies in the national security service and initiated the sacking of the country’s state prosecutor, but has yet to make his own appointments.
Known since his time as an opposition leader for a fiery and populist speaking style, Atambayev moved the former Soviet republic away from the West and closer to traditional ally, Russia, while in office.
On March 31 he was elected chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, which has dominated Kyrgyz politics since the overthrow in 2010 of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the country’s second post-independence president.