RFE/RL reports that Kyrgyzstan has a new prime minister. The previous incumbent, Igor Chudinov, was appointed by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in December 2007. President Bakiev was re-elected earlier this year. (See previous post).
The reports states that President Bakiev issued a decree earlier this week that reformed the administration and precipitated the change of government.
Details of the reforms are difficult to come by, but, apparently, the presidency will now coordinate a number of key institutions. An agency reports (eng.24.kg) states the following: “The new structure will include government bodies under direct administration of the president such as: presidential apparatus, secretariat, the Central Agency for Development, Investments and Innovations of Kyrgyzstan, defense, security and law order adviser to the president and the Kyrgyz Foreign Minister.
In addition, the number of ministries has been reduced and ministerial functions reorganised. The same source states: “The president said the new government structure will consist of 14 ministries – ministry of finance, justice ministry, ministry of internal affairs, ministry of emergency situations and energy, ministry of economic regulation, ministry of agriculture, ministry of natural resources, transport and communication ministry, ministry of state property, healthcare ministry, ministry of education and science, ministry of labor, employment and migration. And the fifteenth ministry – the government apparatus, which now will be cardinally different from the old one. The new government will include monitoring, analytical, control and administrative functions and implement regulatory, territorial, internal and external policies. “Generally speaking, the government will now work as a ministry of coordination,” Bakiev noted”.
After the president’s announcements about the reform, Prime Minister Chudinov resigned. He has been replaced by Daniyar Usenov. He had been the president’s chief of staff since January. There is more information about him here. Unsurprisingly, the ruling Ak Zhol party has approved the nomination.
It is difficult to see these changes other than in the context of the increasingly authoritarian situation in Kyrgyzstan.
In addition, there is a report that President Bakiev is about to submit a new constitution to parliament. The report, dated 13 October, states that “The Kyrgyz head of state has to choose between parliamentary, presidential or mixed forms of government”. The increasing authoritarianism in Kyrgyzstan would suggest that semi-presidentialism may be abandoned.