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Japarov’s Kyrgyz Cabinet Shuffle

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Japarov’s Kyrgyz Cabinet Shuffle

Japarov selected another Japarov (no relation) to head the new Cabinet of Ministers.

Japarov’s Kyrgyz Cabinet Shuffle
Credit: Kyrgyzstan Presidency Press Office

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov dismissed the country’s ministers, signing a decree on October 12 on the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers. The decree came alongside the appointment of Akylbek Japarov (no relation to the president) as acting chair of the Cabinet of Ministers. 

The post heading the cabinet was merged with the head of the presidential administration position a day earlier under a law signed by President Japarov defining and regulating the cabinet under Kyrgyzstan’s latest constitution, adopted in the spring of 2021.

Although the parliament has the power to confirm the cabinet, the president proposed his preferred roster on October 12 and and the same day the responsible committee in the Jogorku Kenesh, Kyrgyzstan’s parliament, supported the proposed composition of the new cabinet.

Akylbek Japarov, the new cabinet head, had been serving as finance and economy minister since June. Before that, as a member of parliament, he headed the state commission whose investigation of Kumtor led to the still-unfolding nationalization saga. Back in 2017, Japarov was the target of a corruption investigation involving the mishandling of state funds. The following year he was lampooned for suggesting that the country ban the writing of bad news in Russian.

The preliminary cabinet list includes Arzybek Kozhoshev as first deputy chairman. Kozhoshev has been serving as chair of the State Financial Supervision Service since December 2019 and has held various economic and financial posts before that. Three deputy chairman positions are proposed to be filled by Aziz Aaliev, Edil Baisalov (social issues), and Kamchybek Tashiev (security). Aaliev has been serving as the first deputy chairman of the cabinet of ministers; Baisalov is the current Kyrgyz ambassador to the United Kingdom; and Tashiev has been running the State Committee for National Security (SCNS or GKNB) and per’s list it looks like he’ll retain that post. 

The only woman on the preliminary cabinet list (of the 20 positions) is Dinara Kutmanova, for the post of Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Technical Supervision. Kutmanova has been serving as chair of the State Committee for Ecology and Climate. Her son was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Kumtor alleging environmental damages which served, in part, as the trigger for the government takeover of the lucrative gold mine earlier this year.

The parliament is expected to approve the cabinet soon. President Japarov will retain the ability, under the new constitution, to dismiss any of the ministers as he sees fit. The new law also bars individuals with criminal records from holding a minister post, and according to Kloop prohibits criminal charges from being brought against ministers without the president’s assent.

Kyrgyzstan is set to hold parliamentary elections on November 28, more than a year after the October 4 poll that triggered a political crisis resulting in the fall of the previous Sooronbay Jeenbekov government, the rise of Sadyr Japarov from prison to presidency, and the pushing through of a new, presidential constitution

Under the new constitution, among other changes, the parliament will shrink from 120 deputies to 90. With the Cabinet of Ministers more firmly under the president’s hand in the new constitution, the center of power continues to be concentrated in the executive.