Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov dismissed the government of Prime Minister Sapar Isakov - an ally of former President Almazbek Atambayev - following a surprise no-confidence vote by parliament on April 19. Hours after the vote, Jeenbekov's current chief of staff, Mukhammedkaliy Abylgaziyev, was nominated to fill the prime minister post. The sacked cabinet members will reportedly continue to serve in their current positions until a new government can be formed.
The no-confidence vote, called by a group of opposition politicians critical of the cabinet's 2017 annual report, passed after the ruling coalition abruptly withdrew its support for Isakov. The move comes amid an apparent rift between Jeenbekov and his predecessor Atambayev - now the chair of the Social Democratic party, which leads the country's ruling coalition - and seems to indicate broad political support for Jeenbekov.
Jeenbekov won Kyrgyzstan's presidential election in the first round of voting held on October 15, 2017, garnering just over 54 percent of ballots cast. Despite predictions of a tight race, Jeenbekov's main rival, Omurbek Babanov, came in second with just over 33 percent. Although Jeenbekov enjoyed the support of Atambayev during the presidential campaign, tensions have emerged between the two politicians in the intervening months, and Jeenbekov has recently removed a number of known Atambayev allies from appointed positions.
Kyrgyzstan attained independence following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and its first two presidents were both unseated by revolutions, in 2005 and 2010. Atambayev was the country's first democratically elected president since a 2010 revolution and his decision to step aside at the end of his term represented the first regular transition of power in the country since independence.
Individuals in Kyrgyzstan are advised to monitor local developments.
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