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When There's Nothing To Say: The Results Of Atambayev's Precidency

Saturday, June 17, 2017 - 00:47

At press conferences held during meetings with leaders of other states, President A. Atambaev, unlike his colleagues, speaks very little about the real content side of cooperation between the two countries, the goals and outcomes of meetings. He rarely brings up specific facts or substantiate his statements with numbers and documents. Instead, he limits himself to expressing his opinion, which is not always appropriate. The same pattern is observed during his press conferences and interviews with local journalists. The vast majority of his answers to the questions of journalists are based on guessing, rumors and allegations. For example, he often responds to frequently asked questions about the results of his work as the president of the republic by general phrases that are not backed up by specific facts and figures (statistical data). He does not even mention the exact name of the projects being implemented, or agreements, laws and future plans, etc. It simply makes you feel uneasy when you see that during similar press conferences both Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev use countless facts and figures, showing a deep knowledge and understanding of the existing and discussed problems in their countries, as well as their active engagement in the process of solving these problems.

 

The fact President A. Atambayev's answers at press conferences and interviews lack documented and specific information that would reflect the results of his activities and his level of knowledge of the problems that are the reason for the heads of state to meet suggests that he simply has nothing to say. And he has nothing to say because during his reign the republic achieved nothing. On the contrary, the country is going downhill rapidly. The President does not address properly or have a deep and objective of even a single problem – be it the development of the country or the interstate relations. This explains why none of the problems that arose in our country – both before and during his presidency – has not been resolved. On the contrary, the problems have become so exacerbated that they may acquire a catastrophic nature in the event that there is no Russian financial, economic and political support.

 

Just imagine: according to the information provided by Vladimir Putin at the joint press conference following his last visit to our country, in 2016, Russia allocated $200 million on a grant basis (gratuitously) to support of the republic the state budget of which totals $1.9 billion. In addition, the interstate fund allocated concessional loans in the amount of $250 million for implementation of various projects (certainly related to budget financing), and let through the border more than 1.2 million tons of gasoline without customs duty. Moreover, Russia serves the entire gas economy of the republic, provides enormous organizational and financial assistance to our army, and protects the country's airspace. In addition, in 2015, Russia wrote off $500 million of Kyrgyzstan's debt. Our compatriots working in Russia annually send home an average of $600 million. As we see, it turns out that Russia basically keeps our republic from going downhill into the abyss.

 

This is also confirmed by the fact that V. Putin has to directly create the modern phytosanitary control system in Kyrgyzstan that would supervise the quality of goods sold domestically and abroad. At the last meeting of the leaders of the EEU countries, he said that he had given the corresponding instructions his government and also asked Kazakhstan to help Kyrgyzstan create a modern phytosanitary control system, since it's one of the main problems of ensuring the access of goods from Kyrgyzstan to the EEU markets. He is forced to do this, since the owners of goods sold in the domestic and foreign markets are representatives of our government that are not at all interested in controlling their quality. Accordingly, they do not want and, most importantly, are not able to organize such an important state business at the present-day level. It is easier for them to accuse the EEU neighbors of an unfair attitude to Kyrgyzstan and of a violation of market competition, which harms the formation of the integration association that is most necessary for Kyrgyzstan. Knowing this, one can understand people who say it would be better to transfer the control over our authority or the government to V. Putin personally.

 

What results of his work and what achievements can Atambaev speak of specifically? During his reign, no problem was solved and no positive dynamics was observed in any sphere of the country's public life. Let's consider the economy as an example. If one does not proceed from the completely distorting information of the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic (the proof of this is presented in my article “A growth of the economy or a distortion of and manipulations with statistics?”), one can observe a catastrophic situation. According to experts' calculations, the republic's GDP has fallen by 8 percent over the past five years. And even according to the National Statistics Committee, over these years, this integral indicator of the economy has not risen above the zero mark, its average value being calculated from the successive falls and growth. It appears there is no real growth. During his reign, the public debt grew by $1 billion and reached a critical point of 70 percent of GDP, making it problematic for the republic to obtain loans.

 

Due to the fact that the economy continues to remain parasitic, there are no high-tech industries and new jobs created, no promising markets opened. The corruption of officials completely discourages both internal and external investors from financing the productive sector. Simultaneously with the growth of communal and other expenses, the incomes of the population are falling. By this indicator, Kyrgyzstan continues to be in the last place among the CIS countries. For the same reasons, the government has been failing to create a park of new technologies for the past four years. As a result, Kyrgyzstan continues to occupy one of the lowest ratings (the 109th place) in the global innovation index.

 

An even more deplorable situation is developing in the social sphere. Even according to the National Statistical Committee, over the past years, the already high level of unemployment has risen from 8.6 percent to 9.4 percent of the total workforce. At the same time, the share of the poor in the total population of the republic has increased by more than 4 percent, amounting to 38.2 percent. According to experts, the real number of the unemployed and people with temporary jobs totals over 25 percent of the workforce. As for poverty: based on the fact that the average wage in the republic is $250 and a large number of working citizens are the only breadwinners in their families, more than 70 percent of the population of the republic can be attributed to this category. Under the current president, our republic – in terms of poverty and income – has fallen to the last place among the CIS countries. And in terms of the contrast between the income of the poor and the rich (which is over 25-fold), Kyrgyzstan has reached the top, which is terrifying in itself. With that, we are not even mentioning that the poor have to endure inequality everywhere and always: from getting a quality education to being able to defend their rights to legal wages and unemployment benefits, etc.

 

But the worst and most worrying from the perspective of the country's development are the negative processes taking place in education, science and in the closely related sphere of ideology. “The drop in the quality of education has reached such a level that many school graduates apply to universities without having learned to read fluently. In some universities, almost half of the lectures do not take place due to the lack of control. Many graduate formally and obtain diplomas, almost never having been in class.” And there is no need to talk about science, since its voices are not heard at all in society. Now it's not science but the religious explanation of life that becomes the basis of the people's understanding of the world. The religions themselves turn into ideologies because of the irresponsible state policy. Thus, according to the implicit recommendation of the current leadership of the country, the leaders of the extremist religious organization “Tablighi Jamaat” were elected to the leadership positions of the SAMK (Spiritual Association of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan). With their connivance, in violation of the country's Constitution, the religious party “Uluu Kyrgyzstan” has been established and has participated in parliamentary elections.

 

There are doubts that Kyrgyzstan can become a truly independent state caused by the situation that prevailed during A. Atambaev's rule in the political sphere of the country. The fact that parties created less than three months before the elections became a part of the country's parliament and local councils, as well as the formation of the Jogorku Kenesh from oligarchs and criminals (according to the deputies' own admission) have led to a complete loss of public trust in the elections. And this – along with the introduction of completely unnecessary changes in the Constitution – has called into question the possibility of consolidating certain management practices and the legitimacy of the authorities.

 

As a result, the state's incomplete performance of its functions is observed in all spheres of government, from administrative and political to sociocultural. The state is unable to fully ensure the external and internal security of the country, as the borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are still unclear. There are clashes between the parties, which can grow into a big conflict. There have not been eliminated the political reasons for the repetition of inter-ethnic and other conflicts related to the expression of social protests, the activation of terrorists and the penetration of organized crime into the authorities. The work to combat corruption should have been conducted systematically and uncompromisingly; instead, it has turned into massacres of political opponents that were necessarily accompanied by riots.

 

In short, at the end of A. Atambayev's presidency, the country has found itself at a dead end, on the verge of complete bankruptcy, devoid of any development prospects.



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