Tag Archives: appointments

Kyrgyz president sacks deputy PM and health minister over coronavirus response

APRIL 5 (The Bulletin) — At least two people have now died with COVID-19 in Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz health workers said. They both died in a hospital in Nookat in the south of the country, the epicentre of the outbreak in Kyrgyzstan. Officials have said that pilgrims returning from the Hajj in Mecca to their homes in and around Osh and Jala-Abad spread the coronavirus.

Looking to deflect criticism pf the government’s response to the spread of the coronavirus, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov sacked health minister Kosmosbek Cholponbayev and deputy PM Altynai Omurbekova (April 1). He said that they had been too slow to identify the source of the virus in the country and said that their work was “unsatisfactory”.

The state-of-emergency forced a court in Bishkek to postpone the trial of former president Almazbek Atambayev and 13 other defendants who are charged with inciting deadly clashes with the security forces in August 2019 (March 30). 


— This story was first published in issue 441 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2020

Mirziyoyev promotes Western educated official to be finance minister

FEB. 25 2020 (The Bulletin) — Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev swapped up his top economic team by making former deputy Central Bank chief Timur Ishmetov finance minister and shifting Jamshid Kucharov from the finance minister to be the economy and industry minister. The 41-year-old Mr Ishmetov, who was partially educated at the University of Birmingham, represents the start of a generational shift in Uzbekistan’s bureaucracy away from ministers who were trained under the USSR to those who have studied in the West.


— This story was first published in issue 438 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2020

Armenia parliament appoints Pashinyan as PM

JAN. 14 (The Conway Bulletin) — Nikol Pashinyan was reinstated as Armenia’s PM, finalising a revolution he led in April/May 2018. His My Step coalition won 88 out of 132 seats at an election in December, meaning that it automatically nominated the PM. Mr Pashinyan had been the leader of a revolution that overthrew a government lead by the Republican Party’s Serzh Sargsyan. Mr Sargsyan had been president for a decade and had then tried to switch to be PM, a role he had empowered through a new constitution. This switch triggered the revolution.

>>This story was first published in issue 397 of The Conway Bulletin on Jan. 20 2019

Berdy moves son from foreign ministry to regional governor

JAN. 2 (The Conway Bulletin) — Serdar Berdymukhamedov, the son and heir-apparent of Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, has been moved from deputy foreign minister to governor of the Ahal province in the centre of the country. The Ahal province is the most powerful in Turkmenistan as it is Mr Berdymukhamedov’s home province and home to many of the Turkmen elite. Analysts said that the shift may be part of the grooming process for Berdymukhamedov junior arranged by his father.

>>This story was first published in issue 396 of The Conway Bulletin on Jan. 11 2019

Kyrgyz deputy minister in drunk aeroplane row

BISHKEK/SEPT. 24 — Kyrgyz PM Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev fired Zuurakan Kadenova as deputy minister for labour and social development two days after she was taken off a flight bound for Almaty in Seoul because she was drunk and incoherent.

The flight on Sept. 22 was delayed by two hours and eyewitnesses said that Ms Kadenova 46, was later seen in the airport with blood and vomit on her clothes.

She denied being drunk and said instead that a combination of a new diet plan, through which she said she had shed 5kg during her 20-day stay in South Korea, and corvalol, a mild tranquilliser, that she had taken, had made her feel ill. She said that she had not been allowed to go to the lavatory as the plane was about to take off.

“I was pale, like a drunk, and trembling, but I was not drunk. I do not drink spirits at all,” she was quoted by media as saying. “This is a political decision. Even at the airport in Seoul, when I read the news, I was ready to resign.”

A statement from Air Astana, though, differed. The Kazakh airline was quoted by several media outlets as saying that Ms Kadenova had been taken off the business class section of the flight because she was incoherent and unable to fly.

“For the safety of the flight, and also in view of the risk of further deterioration of the passenger’s health, a decision was made to refuse her transportation,” Air Astana said in a statement.

Ms Kadenova had been in Seoul for training at the Korean International Cooperation Agency, which arranges exchange programmes. There are strong links between South Korea and Central Asia, especially Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan where tens of thousands of ethnic Koreans live.

Ms Kadenova was made deputy minister for labour and social mobility in 2015, when current Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov was PM, and was previously a deputy minister for education, a teacher and a lecturer.

For the Kyrgyz government, Ms Kadenova’s sacking for being drunk will be embarrassing. South Korea is one of the countries it is targeting to boost foreign direct investment.
>>This story was first published in issue 387 of The Conway Bulletin on Oct. 1 2018

Kazakh government reshuffled

AUG. 29 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) — Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev named Yerbolat Dosayev, formerly head of the state investment agency Baiterek, and Askar Zhumagaliyev, formerly head of the nuclear agency Kazatomprom, as deputy PMs. There are now four deputy PMs. Askar Mamin is first deputy Prime Minister in charge of the economy and Askar Myrzakhmetov is deputy PM and the minister for agriculture. Mr Nazarbayev is renowned for reshuffling his government ministers on a fairly regular basis, partly to prevent any from building up their power base too much.


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(News report from Issue No. 342, published on Sept. 7 2017)

Kyrgyzstan appoints new PM

AUG. 25 2017 (The Conway Bulletin) – Kyrgyzstan’s parliament confirmed Sapar Isakov, previously President Almazbek Atambayev’s chief of staff, as the new PM (Aug. 25). His predecessor, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, resigned to run for president in an election set for Oct. 15. Mr Atambayev is barred by the Kyrgyz constitution from running for a second term in office. He has backed Mr Jeenbekov.


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(News report from Issue No. 341, published on Aug. 27 2017)

Tajik President daughter heads bank

JULY 18 2017 (The Bulletin) — One of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon’s daughters, 23-year-old Zarina Rakhmona, was appointed deputy head of Orienbank, a commercial bank, in January, media reported. News of the appointment has only just emerged as it was not announced at the time. The head of the bank is the President Rakhmon’s brother-in- law, Hasan Asadullozoda. Mr Rakhmon has steadily appointed his close family members into increasingly important positions. His son is the mayor of Dushanbe and his eldest daughter is his chief- of-staff.


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(News report from Issue No. 337, published on July 27 2017)


Turkmen President sacks finance minister

JULY 11 2017 (The Bulletin) — Turkmen president Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov sacked Mukhametguly Muhammadov as finance minister in yet another public dressing down for a senior government official. Mr Berdymukhamedov has sacked almost his entire government over the past year in what analysts have said is an attempt to deflect blame for Turkmenistan’s stuttering economy.


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(News report from Issue No. 336, published on July 16 2017)


Mirziyoyev sets up his own youth movement for Uzbekistan

TASHKENT, JUNE 30 2017 (The Bulletin) — In a speech to hundreds of youth activists, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that he was renaming their organisation as the Uzbekistan Youth Union, a deliberate break from the Kamolot brand it had used under former President Islam Karimov.

Kamolot had been one of Karimov’s most successful propaganda tools, sweeping up thousands of people aged between 14 and 30. Kamolot, which means perfection in Uzbek, was set up in 2001 as a successor to the Soviet-era Komsomol. Its detractors said it was used by Karimov to create thousands of pliant Uzbeks who would spread his ideology. It was not compulsory to join Kamolot but those that did often found their path smoothed to good government jobs.

During his speech, Mr Mirzioyev, who appears to be relishing his role as the arch-reformer since taking the over the presidency in September 2016 a few days after Karimov died, said that Kamolot had been a narrow project aimed at promoting a few people above everybody else.

“The activity of the movement has been limited to a narrow circle, and was aimed only at its members. The youth who did not join the movement remained out of sight,” he said, also announcing a doubling of the youth movement budget to $51m.

Still, he appeared to contradict himself shortly afterwards with the appointment of 23-year-old Alisher Sadullayev, a former Kamolot member, as his education minister.

And people commentating online after the announcement were sceptical, suggesting that Mr Mirzioyev was aiming to ape Mr Karimov’s Kamolot rather than build a new all-inclusive youth movement.

“I don’t think that there will be a lot of difference between Kamolot and UYU (Uzbekistan Youth Union). The only difference I’m sure about is how UYU members will call them- selves the children of Mirziyoyev’,” one commentator said.

Another was more whimsical. He wrote on Facebook: “Kamolot is dead, long live UYU!”


Copyright ©Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin — all rights reserved

(News report from Issue No. 335, published on July 3 2017)