What 2017 will be for Kyrgyzstan? Predictions of political scientists
23/12/16 10:51, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency,
Experts of the Political and Legal Research Center presented specially for readers of 24.kg news agency a political outlook for 2017.
2017 presidential elections as a main political event of the year will have an impact on virtually all aspects of life in Kyrgyzstan.
Popularly elected head of state, despite the changes made to the Constitution, is still the most influential player in the political field of Kyrgyzstan.
The sad tradition is Kyrgyz spring. This is a time of social protests and an extraordinary change of power. However, in 2017, there will be no critical concentration of the protest movement for a revolution.
All the key political actors will be involved in preparing for the presidential elections, the outcome of which is unclear.
There is a possibility of appointing early presidential elections, if the President Almazbek Atambayev has a candidate, whom he will openly support. At present, there is no such a figure.
If the successor does not appear until March 2017, the elections will be held as scheduled - in the fall.
All the important political forces have already begun to look for a potential new president. As usual, many will not put all eggs in one basket and will "swear" fealty to several real candidates.
All of this, if a strong successor does not appear, will mean strengthening of the centrifugal tendencies from the president and the Social Democratic Party to the other political leaders.
Centrifugal forces began spinning now, but will get a special power in spring.
It's time to bet
Traditionally, there will be a plenty of those wishing to compete for the top post of the country in Kyrgyzstan.
There are just few real candidates - Temir Sariev, Omurbek Babanov, Bakyt Torobaev and, perhaps, a candidate from the authorities.
The last is Sooronbay Jeenbekov so far. But the choice can be made in favor of Temir Sariev or Omurbek Babanov.
Ultimately, this will depend on who of them will be able to gain the trust of Almazbek Atambayev and ensure for the outgoing president a complex of guarantees after his resignation.
Note: the status of protégé of the authorities does not mean an unconditional victory. The elections will be competitive.
The rest of the heavyweights of the Kyrgyz politics will also play a role in the presidential race. They will become the important resource consolidation which can be a decisive factor for the "walk-through" nominees for the presidency.
Political parties as the exponents of the ideas and projects will not have a significant function. Politics in 2017 will be extremely personalized. The only role of the parties will be to create human networks serving the candidates for the presidency.
In the coming year, one should not expect systemic reforms in any area. A strong political will, strong support of the population, clear understanding of reforms needed and how to conduct them are necessary for their implementation.
None of these factors will be in 2017. Atambayev's presidential term ends. This time is more appropriate to sum up results, form a pool of supporters and ensure ex-presidential guarantees.
The state machine will be occupied mainly with arrangement of the political system, taking into account the end of the presidential term.
Beginning of the reform is expected in 2018, already under the new president, although in this case, there is no 100 percent guarantee of their implementation.
Everything will depend on a person, who and with what intentions and ideas will come to power.
The risk of oligarchic rule intensification after the presidential elections 2017 remains high.
Situation in the economy
Taking into account that fundamental political and administrative reforms are not expected until the end of the year, to position of the economy will also not change dramatically.
It largely depends on foreign trade and foreign policy situation than on the internal policy of the Kyrgyz Republic.
In particular, it depends on the situation in Russia, which has a direct impact on the Kyrgyz labor migrants and their remittances amount.
The launch of mega-projects that have long been in the plans, but are registered in the category of frozen: Kambarata-1 HPP, Kara-Keche HEP, Kyrgyz-Chinese railway, etc could be significant in their economic impact.
None of these projects will be launched at full capacity. In the context of uncertainty, business, as well as large state-owned partners will take a wait and see position.
Foreign policy will be characterized by the desire of the people in power to establish a close and trusting relationship with its close neighbors. This is especially true for its strategic partner - Russia.
This is connected primarily with Almazbek Atambayev and the need to get certain guarantees of his support after his resignation.
Russia's attitude to the Kyrgyz Republic will not undergo major changes. Obviously, it will focus on the key issue of the year - who will be the next president of Kyrgyzstan?
The changes associated with the new US president Donald Trump and his more "pragmatic" policy toward America's global role, will also impact Kyrgyzstan, but indirectly.
In particular, US policy will remain focused on supporting the development of democracy in Kyrgyzstan, but its character will be neutral. There will be no other significant changes in the relations between Kyrgyzstan and the United States.
Relations with the European Union, China and Turkey will not also undergo special changes.
Major changes in the foreign policy would relate to the relationship between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, where the new president Shavkat Mirziyayev has come to power.
Messages to upgrade bilateral relations will come most likely from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan will have to quickly and efficiently form its own position on the matter.
Instead of toast
In general, the country's economic and social life will remain roughly the same as in the past year. All the attention and resources of society in 2017 will be directed to the political sphere, namely - to the presidential election. The outcome is uncertain, as there are 3-4 candidates who can win.
After the next president comes to power, the country for some time will still be busy with formation of a new staffing structure and the building of a new relationship between the higher authorities.
Despite the high passions which is inherent in any competitive elections, followed by the change of the top management, the country will relatively painlessly pass this stage.
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