In Kyrgyzstan in full swing preparing for the presidential elections to be held on 15 October. The current head of state Almazbek Atambayev is not involved in the presidential race, her favorite, he appointed former Prime Minister Sooronbay Zheenbekov. In addition to his election involved 11 people. What awaits the Republic after these elections, “MK” was told by its first President Askar Akayev.
Photo: A. Savin.
– Why do you think the election of Atambaev decided to make Prime Minister Sapar Isakov, and Zheenbekov to send in the presidential election?
– Quite naturally the acting head of the Republic hopes to maintain its influence in postpresidency period. In this sense it follows in the same way, which paved the Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, which brought to power the President and his party, but directly the country Manager. Atambayev believes that, too, will be able to put their President and government, through which it can influence the development of the country, lying on its side.
Of 12 people you can vote for the most worthy of government. Stand out Omurbek Babanov, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, Temir Sariyev, who heads the government of Kyrgyzstan, Bakyt Torobaev with extensive experience of parliamentary and Ministerial work. Judging by their biographies, each of them relatively well prepared for governance.
I hope the next new President of Kyrgyzstan will be to move the Republic forward. The last 12 years the country was ruled by the revolutionaries who have nothing but populism was not engaged. Hopefully, now their power will end, and the new generation will lead the Republic on the path of creation, the evolutionary progressive development.
– Jeenbekov – not a new face, on the contrary, many consider him a friend Atambayev.
– In the words of Winston Churchill, in politics there is no true friendship, and its place is occupied by interests. Let’s see how to behave Jeenbekov, if people decide to make him their President. Perhaps it will start to bend its own line. I’m sure the people with their collective mind will be able to choose a decent leader who will take into account the needs of the population of the Republic, not your personal or any elites.
Take the example of China of Mao Zedong’s era. Deng Xiaoping was one of his closest associates, although Mao had twice sent him to rehabilitation. Perhaps, he even helped as he was able to look at the lives of ordinary people, peasants and workers. Becoming a national leader, he has launched the reforms that changed China beyond recognition. The country went a different path than that which led his people Mao. However, Deng Xiaoping wisely, he did not abuse his predecessor. As you know, one of the conventions he said that Mao is 75% right and 25% wrong, this should put an end and start to move forward. And he directed all the power of the people to transform the country.
For 30 years, China has performed a miracle. Today is the second economy in the world, and tomorrow will be the first. During this time, 500 million Chinese were lifted out of poverty. When in 1989 I first visited China, it seemed to me that this country is forever mired in poverty, and today is a recognized leader in many areas of science and technology. One day China will intercept global leadership from the United States. And, thank God, so it must be because Washington is already tired. Everything changes, and that’s good.
– If Atambayev will implement the plan and will continue to manage the Kyrgyzstan out of the shadows, the development will be forgotten?
– It may well be that exactly what happened, especially in front of us is the example of Georgia. But don’t despair, because the democratic system is good because in the future there will be more elections. The fact of their holding and the availability of full competition give hope for change. People will make lessons, and next time will choose a more worthy person.
Throughout the world, we rightly called the most democratic country in Central Asia. Democracy inherent in the national mentality of the Kyrgyz people. For example, the great Russian historian Vasily Bartold wrote that in ancient times our khans got the power not by inheritance, but through elections. I’m glad we continue to move in that direction. This election is another contribution to this process.
– How has this election campaign compared to previous ones? Have you got more populism?
In modern Kyrgyzstan, there are three problems that need to be addressed to the Republic continued to move towards democracy. First, it is populism that is flourishing around the world. I think this is the biggest danger. Populist program, introducing voter confusion, only aggravate the situation in the economy. From this kind of politicians need to get rid of in their place have come the people who tell me that prosperity can be achieved only by great labour.
Before the first time to become Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, unlike its competitors, promising quick prosperity, said that can promise their constituents only hard work and tears. And so it happened, but that’s why he became one of the best leaders during the Second world war.
The second thing I am particularly worried about is the Islamization of the country. Kyrgyzstan has always been a secular Republic, and not only the Constitution but also in nature. Islam for us has always been part of the culture, but no more. However, in recent years I hear more and more about the active Islamization of the country. This is very dangerous, since we know what causes radicalism of this kind.
And the third is the division of society. The last time he felt stronger. In particular, there were problems in the relations between North and South. Personally, I am his main task as President saw the consolidation of the people. So my first major project was the construction of the road Bishkek-Osh, and then we announced the Osh, the southern capital of the country and so on. To achieve any significant achievements, you first need to consolidate the nation, and now it crumbles.
The new President of Kyrgyzstan should work to resolve all three problems. And most importantly — it is time to move from revolutionary slogans to creative and sustainable development.
– All candidates understand these tasks or someone, on the contrary, wants to play on the contradictions?
– The software is fun: want to strengthen the nation, to achieve economic prosperity and so on. One says that we need to do this for 20 years, and the other promises to bring the country into the world leaders for 5 years. Only in the spring of next year it will be clear that the person confided in people.
– The processes that are taking place in Kyrgyzstan, consistent with the declared ideals of the revolution?
– As you know, the revolution of 2005 was organized in the United States. It was openly led by the extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador Stephen young. These events occurred against the backdrop of the Orange revolution in Ukraine and rose Revolution in Georgia. Americans didn’t wait as soon as possible to make such coups around the world. In Central Asia the best platform for this was democratically advanced Kyrgyzstan.
The coup leaders promised the people of Kyrgyzstan more democratic, but it never happened. 5-7 years promised to surpass the US in terms of industry, but in the end the economy fell back to 10 years ago. In fact, we surpassed even the Tajiks who survived the civil war, so that means a stable development!
– How much of the elite of Kyrgyzstan want change in government, in particular the removal from power of the state, the rejuvenation of the country and so on?
– Now is the time when the elite would want you to change. All tired of this revolutionary Board, constant stress, chronic instability, and so on. Everyone needs the environment in which you can do radical changes for the better.
– Is there any option, which in Kyrgyzstan will begin again the excitement?
– The Republic has experienced two revolutions and hope that the third will not. Let’s see what they have brought to Ukraine. In the Soviet Union by all means, it was the most prosperous Republic. I generally thought that it is one foot is already in communism. Today nothing but black soil left, but its going to sell. You cannot stop the process of change of elites, which was voted by the people.
– Depending on who wins the election, can seriously change relations between Russia and Kyrgyzstan?
– In physics there are constant things that will never change, no matter what part of the universe you are: Planck’s constant, Einstein’s constant, the gravitational constant of Newton, and so on. For Kyrgyzstan this constant is Russia. The history of our relationship is predetermined by fate. About 230 years ago the Kyrgyz leaders have realized that I need to rely on the support of a powerful Russia. The arrival of Russia in Central Asia has allowed the region to climb out of a feudal past and the period of the Soviet Union was an era of comprehensive development for Kyrgyzstan.
– Atambaev has continued this tradition of friendliness and neighborliness?
– As with everything, it was ambiguous, imbued with Platonic love, on the contrary, was cold. I hope the next President will be more consistent.
– What do you think September 14 Atambaev said Russian President Vladimir Putin? At the same time the Russian leader gave an interview to Kyrgyz journalists, in which he, too, was difficult to find words to describe their President.
– Probably they were discussing something very important, because otherwise it could be limited to a telephone conversation. Most likely, Atambayev flew up specifically to leave a good memory of his political legacy, while enlisting the support of Russia, and to strengthen the position of his successor. Hard to say, it turned out he had it or not. I hope people will make wise conclusion as from the visit Atambayev and Putin’s interview.
– Surely the leaders of the post-Soviet space will still be discussing the elections in Kyrgyzstan. As you consider how much is acceptable for them to see the head of state Zheenbekov as puppets of the state?
– All depends on how sincerely they belong to the European Union. If everything we see on TV is true, then protest they will not. At the same time, politicians want to see their interlocutors and partners a pleasant and predictable people. Let’s see how the world reacted, for example, at the election of the President of France Emmanuel Makron and the President of the United States Donald trump…
– Who would you like to see the head of Kyrgyzstan?
The best leader is a normal person. Look at German Chancellor Angela Merkel: nothing special, except for maybe the wisdom of life, it is no different from an ordinary German women. That is why it is the fourth time elected head of government of Germany.
Remember the story of the election to the presidency of Ronald Reagan. He was an outstanding actor, who has worked as a Governor. During his pre-election tour of the United States Ronald Reagan came to Hollywood, where the meeting with voters was faced with a very famous Director who said, “Look, you’re a great actor, we all love you… But you yourself believe that you can be President?” On this, Reagan said: “You yourself said I was a great actor, so I will play the role of the President.” And because it really happened. His main gift was the ability to listen…
You know, the worst President is the one who considers himself the smartest because no one listens. Such a person, for example, is Atambayev. I wish Kyrgyzstan was headed by a man who knows how to listen to ordinary people and their advisers. It needs to be the first among their constituents.