Kyrgyz coalition puts forward new PM


Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Feb 1 (AFP/APP): Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary majority backed a career civil servant to become the Central Asian country’s next prime minister Monday in a move viewed as coming from new leader Sadyr Japarov.

Japarov, 52, has faced little political resistance since taking the helm in October, when a political crisis over a disputed vote saw him released from jail by supporters and climb to power. Lawmakers in the ruling coalition voted unanimously in favour of Ulukbek Maripov, who served in the administrations of two presidents either side of a bloody popular uprising in 2010.

Maripov is currently chair of the chamber of accounts, a state auditing institution. Parliament must now confirm the candidacy of Maripov, 41, but this is expected to be a formality. No other candidates are vying for the post and the legislature is overwhelmingly loyal to the executive. Japarov, who pledged a new future for the often volatile republic when he was inaugurated as president last week, is expected to soon visit key ally Russia. He was serving jail time for hostage-taking at the time of last year’s parliament vote, the results of which were ultimately annulled.

Japarov always denied the charges as politically motivated. Kyrgyzstan has seen three of its six presidents overthrown since independence in 1991, while prime ministers typically last a year or less in the role. One former premier Mukhammedkali Abylgaziyev was arrested on multiple graft-related charges last week. The national security committee on Saturday also arrested Japarov’s press secretary Nurgazy Anarkulov over allegations he had accepted bribes.

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