Chairman of the Law and Jural Reform Committee in the Kyrgyz Legislative Assembly Azimbek Beknazarov officially announced the start of impeachment procedures of the incumbent president Askar Akayev. The deputy is well known in and outside the republic for being arrested for a crime allegedly committed seven years ago. The arrest entailed a hail of protests in the Aksy district of the republic. Unfortunately, the protest actions brought several victims. Under the opposition’s pressure, Azimbek Beknazarov was released after giving a written undertaking not to flee. Now, the deputy is launching another political campaign.
In Beknazarov’s words, there are several reasons for calling Akayev into criminal account. First, as the deputy says, the president broke the territorial integrity of the country by the decision to hand part of the Kyrgyzstan territory to neighboring China. Second, the March bloodshed in Aksy is credited to the president as well. Finally, it is said that Askar Akayev was elected president in 2000 by violating the Constitution. The republic’s constitution does not allow a person to be elected president for a third term. However, as it is said, Askar Akayev was elected president of the republic three times already: in 1991, 1995, and 2000. In 1998, the Constitutional Court allowed Askar Akayev to participate in the 2000 elections on the grounds that a new Constitution had been introduced in the republic in 1993. The president’s opponents say the the explanation a mere juridical pettifoggery.
To create a parliamentary commission for impeachment, no less than 31 of the 60 votes in the parliament’s lower house are to be collected. Regarding the present-day situation in the Legislative Assembly, Azimbek Beknazarov may succeed with it. However, in this case, a necessity may arise to dissolve the parliament on the Constitutional Court’s decision.
At the same time, the impeachment attempt is just a piece of the grave crisis the power struggle in Kyrgyzstan. Large-scale meetings and protest actions have been held in the republic lately. The central highway from Bishkek to Osh was completely blocked in the south of the republic.
Protesters accuse the president of practically the same violations as deputy Azimbek Beknazarov. In addition, the protesters are sure thatit is Akayev’s team, which has been in power for over ten years already, that brought the people to extreme poverty. According to official data, two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line (their earnings make up less than $7).
The wish of Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev to resign is more evidence of the grave crisis in the republic. The prime minister already handed in an official resignation; however, the president has not signed it yet.
The opposition of both sides is heating up in Kyrgyzstan, and the number of protesters is increasing each day. The president, however, blames the opposition organizations subordinate to “the third powers” with the aim of destabilizing the republic.
Yury Razgulyayev PRAVDA.Ru Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/15/41139.html