Speaker Keldibekov speaks in vain, doomed to step down
I have hard time understanding Speaker Akhmatbek Keldibekov’s desperate attempts to keep his position. As someone involved in politics for quite some time now, he must realize that election of a new president inevitable entails reshuffling of politicians. Moreover, the president-elect Almazbek Atambayev has views that sometimes contradict those of Keldibekov’s. When the 2010 elections got several known politicians back (!) into the parliament, they had to negotiate and make concessions and compromises: Atambayev (SDPK) got premiership, Omurbek Babanov (Respublika) was given vice-premiership and Keldibekov (Ata-Jurt) received the position of the Speaker. The latter now has to go, simple as is.But no, he is trying to make it difficult for everyone, not simply stepping down. Now his rivals have to come up with different excuses and tricks to finally knock him off the warm seat. For example, all of a sudden everybody recalled Keldibekov’s little chit-chat with a fugitive criminal, Kamchibek Kolbayev, in December 2010! It is quite amusing that the ministry of interior has now started to talk about their investigation and findings. “Gentlemen, where were you for a whole year?!” one wishes to ask. But then again, police are manned with people who also have families to feed and cars to refuel. And then-powerful Speaker was not one of the cases they would proudly announce “cracked.” But things have changed for the once-powerful Speaker.
As a politician whose popularity rests on people’s emotions and not on sound judgment of his achievements, Keldibekov is desperately continuing to muster support among his supporters. For some reason, he has suddenly remembered the Osh events: “not all culprits have been punished.” Have all culprits of the two revolutions been punished? Have all looters been punished? Have the two previous presidents been punished? Who HAS BEEN punished except those who couldn’t bribe their way to freedom?!. But, of course, this was a move Keldibekov was vainly hoping to garner support with. Because while it is an important issue to talk about, lack of electricity, coal and snow on roads is more important for voters today.
By desperately trying to stay afloat, Keldibekov is actually making his further life in political life worse. Because one of the three whales the previous coalition rested upon, Atambayev’s SDPK, announced it was leaving the coalition, a move that collapsed the coalition. Today, the president-elect tasked the party to form a new coalition, which will apparently not include Ata-Jurt. Not only because the party was suffering split ever since its ascendance to power last year, but also because of Keldibekov’s actions now. If Ata-Jurt is not in the coalition, even talking about Keldibekov is a vain sport.
Despite being an official close to ousted Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Keldibekov ascended on the political Olympus following the last year’s parliamentary elections as part of the Ata-Jurt party. The party is very pro-nationalistic, which it believes equals to patriotism. And such a party’s victory was quite predictable almost immediately after the bloody events in Osh, where ethnic Uzbeks were accused of separatism and killing of Kyrgyz citizens. But times have changed and the topic is no longer on the top of agenda.
So Keldibekov’s actions are confusing, to say the least. Because he must realize Atambayev is not going to let him stay in the parliament speaker position. The former needs someone he can rely upon. Therefore, Keldibekov’s “voluntary” stepping down would be a wiser step for him very self. Because one way or another, he will be removed. If all those attempts prove inefficient, there always is option of the vote of no confidence in the Speaker, which three of the five factions are ready to proceed with.