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March 2017

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Deputies vs Mayor. Who will win?

16/05/14 13:01, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency, by Makhinur NIYAZOVA, Anastasia BENGARD

The day before at the presidium meeting of Bishkek City Council (BCC) deputies again unleashed their anger on the Mayor Kubanychbek Kulmatov. Party elected reminded him all the wrongs and sins, not failing at the same time complain that they themselves are working on a voluntary basis and do not carry any responsibility for appearance of the capital. But in the end they criticized previously presented program on socio-economic development until 2018: "City of open opportunities", brought it back for revision and threatened the governor with non-confidence vote.

Most of Bishkek residents formed a definite opinion about theatricality of yesterday's demonstration shows. It's no secret that the City Council representatives have their definite interests in the capital. They need parliamentary mandate of BCC rather not to help the people, but for protection racketeering of Bishkek businessmen, in particular, the owners of parking lots, shopping centers, markets and other facilities generating very substantial profit.

24.kg news agency decided to ask respondents how they, the citizens, evaluate the first steps of the mayor, and who sabotages Kubanychbek Kulmatov's initiatives to improve the situation in the capital.

Mirlan Zheenchoroev, the leader of "Respublika" faction of Bishkek City Council:

- There isn't any confrontation. This is the normal working points. The document can be adopted if it is not contrary to the law. And the program is contrary to law regulations. When the mayor says some things and does not indicate the sources of funding, I think it's a violation. Therefore, we ask them to tell, whether investors, municipal budget or other means. And without this, by the law, we do not have the right to take such legal act.

Whether deputies pursue their interests?

- We are the representatives of the people. If someone has interest in providing these or other urban services, we, as an opposition faction, will report this first. Deputies of "Respublika" faction, I can say, don't pursue personal selfish purposes.

- How do you assess the first steps of the mayor?

- I would like to give assessment after the mayor presents a progress report.

Azamat Usubaliev, the Acting Director of City Development Agency under Bishkek Mayor's Office:

-Current status of the city is the result of earlier policy. Most often it is focused on PR effects, rather than a real work. And this, in turn, creates an environment that is observed now. You see it all perfectly. Not a good situation, for example, in the field of waste collection: "Tazalyk" tried to sabotage it. Parking  weren general outlawed. And it is not the blame of ordinary employees, there are large interests, often run counter to the interests of citizens. When there is the mayor, who has a strict policy to eradicate corruption phenomena, it is natural that he faces opposition.

Mess has systemic roots. And it should be clear to everyone. Bishkek in this respect is the tidbit. But it is not possible working in the old way, we need to change something in terms of general interest of citizens. And the presented program, in the first place, concerning it.

Asylbek Chekirov, the expert, one of the developers of the program on Bishkek development:

- First steps of the mayor, I would estimate, as positive. It isn't possible to expect major changes in 100 days. But there is a fact that issues related to lighting, garbage collection and roads were discussed. In a short time we already have tangible results on lighting. Situation with removal of household waste is settled. Cleaning - yes, there is still a problem, but taking out garbage from containers is carried out in time. As for roads, only hiccup is a lack of funding - because of old debts. In the near future, as far as I know, we will start patching. The construction of Bokonbaev Street has already started, Nekrasov Street as well.

- But this project was designed by Omurkulov?

- This is not a project of Omurkulov, but the project of Bishkek Mayor's Office. And it is unreal to start something great for 90 days. We are currently negotiating on the Chinese loan for 100 kilometers of roads. And the mayor is absolutely right, when he refuses to include it in the program until they see real results.

As for the program, if you read the conclusion of all factions and committees, there is no word about what they are against. I do not understand this reaction. MPs demand details for each sphere. This requirement is unreasonable, we act according to the law. And the mayor does not want to make unnecessary promises. We had a wonderful program "Renewed capital". But it has been performed only by 45 percent. Therefore Kulmatov doesn't want to deceive citizens. Make the program - tale is not a problem. This can be done in one night. Therefore, the program we have abandoned dreaming of the same deputies and citizens. Here we show, where we find the money. Why MPs don't emphasize? I have a deep conviction that the issue is not in the text of the program.

-And then what?

- As a member of the working group I can now announce that opinion. This can cause unhealthy excitement. But what worries me is that why the MPs put priority discussion of the structure, but not the program itself. Someone is afraid of losing control keys from the center? Who we prevent? City Hall structure can never be touched. We are interested in how we will provide services to the public.

Vladimir Pluzhnik, the Director of "Vigens"Legal Center:

- Activities can't be assessed, because as there weren't such steps as such (except mass discussion of another new program - the way, the fourth one from the mayor's office). The very first promise - to establish traffic in the city in order to avoid constant traffic jams, was not fulfilled. No one can interfere with the Mayor. He, according to the law, has all the powers to address current issues, even in life support issues. He is a man of a strong character, so, too, and there won't be sabotage.

As for the confrontation between deputies and the mayor, it is a normal political situation in any state. City Council - actually a mouthpiece of the people, who elected them. Though not all of us went to vote, but each decided which party to chose. And there is a clear line between the two parties to fulfill its promises in the election. And the open position of the deputies - another confirmation. Within live broadcast with the mayor, as a simple citizen of the capital, I also expressed that the new program is simply utopian and written by stereotypes. We all want to live in the super city and to be proud of it.

Alexey Krasin, adviser to the mayor of the capital:

- It is absolutely unclear why the deputies, representing the population of the city, suddenly perceived the mayor's premise in spite, who got down to the reform of urban governance. Our document has passed the committees, BCC factions, we introduced it at public hearings. But suddenly, at the last moment of the process, we faced an unclear position of ​​permanent commissions. Now, it turned out that the alleged insufficient program, and it should be refined to the smallest details. Not even the commission intervenes, but destructive approach, which is formed from somewhere. Whence? I do not know.

Dzhamalbek Baltagulov, the Director of the Union of Local Government:

-I can not evaluate his activities. Forgiving answer, we should clearly prove the facts. I'm not ready now.

Bonivur Ishemkulov, civic activist:

- If you judge as a person, I always see a smile on Kubanychbek Kulmatov's face, and for me this is significant. There wasn't any such mayor before him. The rest were pompous masters, Facial track of thinking about the future, and they have always been in entourage.

The city has not yet significant changes. Garbage is removed. Roads, no matter who the mayor is, are constantly renovated. But I wouldn't to put it in the merit of Kulmatov. It is the duty of the mayor. Another thing - his initiative to hold a forum on working out the capital development projects.

If he, for some reasons, prevents MPs to implement their own plans, aimed at promoting personal interests, they would be against. Either against, or they will try to persuade him and entice into the side of their interests.

Mars Sariev, the political scientist:

-Conflict, from my perspective, was laid initially. Kubanichbek Kulmatov came out of customs. The State Customs Service and the City Hall - are completely different structures. Kulmatov, as a person born in the city and having the appropriate mindset, could successfully work in customs, as there is almost a paramilitary structure. Arriving at the City Hall, by virtue of his mentality, was bound to get into conflict, because the City Hall - is, figuratively speaking, Byzantium Empire, with its Byzantine laws. So, the conflict was a foregone conclusion. Other questions - refer to particular mental incompatibility.

- So you think that the problem is not that the development of the capital program is good or not?

- I say, it's just a package. Real processes are different. Kubanichbek Kulmatov is result-oriented. His subsequent actions depend on it. By the mentality he has underestimated the network structure (mentality) of the team. That's it.

Igor Shestakov, political analyst:

-While the new mayor made ​​such visible thing as only the removed fundraisers for parking. This measure was absolutely right, because fees for certain vehicle owners were transferred to someone's pockets, but not to the budget. Surprising, the City Council deputies observed all this mess for many years. It is evident that Kulmatov started forming his team. It was faithful to appoint Aigul Ryskulova for the post of Vice Mayor for Social Policy. In these difficult issues Ryskulova is a professional.

If the mayor wants to work effectively, the team of his predecessor should be discharged as personnel of Omurkulov brought Bishkek, as they say, to ruin. Only professional personnel can make Bishkek as a real capital. And Kulmatov hasn't time for thinking over.

Also there isn't a feedback between municipal authorities and the population of the capital. Although the mayor can not be considered closed from the public. But there aren't enough meetings with civil society and the business community. Kulmatov needs to know about key issues in the capital directly from the citizens, not from the servile bureaucrats, who do not care deeply in what condition Bishkek is.

As for the City Council, it should be called "grief council". Deputy majority of this "democracy" party body was formed on the basis of interests of Isa Omurkulov, who was interested in his post of mayor. Apparently, while the majority of the deputies are trying to solve their own business issues, they clearly do not reach urban issues at all. It would be more correct to terminate the powers of these so-called people's representatives. And to elect a new more professional deputies, worrying about the future of the capital.

URL: http://eng.24.kg/perekrestok/170517-news24.html
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«When we ran in the elections, we said that would even get the moon and the sun from the sky ».
MP Kamchybek Joldoshbayev at a meeting of Parliament, February 2, 2017.

«What have you done besides sale of donkeys to China?».
Deputy Ryskeldi Mombekov to the head of State Inspectorate for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Safety Kalysbek Zhumakanov at a meeting of Parliament, February 1, 2017.

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