Kyrgyzstan: Parliament Speaker Wants Lawmakers to Have Guns
As if Kyrgyzstan hasn’t suffered enough bloodshed, the speaker of parliament is pushing for deputies to be allowed to bring their guns to work. Akmatbek Keldibekov, a leader of the nationalist Ata-Jurt party, has proposed legislation giving him the right to determine which of the deputies can – and which cannot – come packing, local media report. He will base his decision on a written request from each deputy. The new parliament has already seen its share of violence this year, mostly thanks to Keldibekov’s own party. Co-leader Kamchybek Tashiev is building a reputation for punching his foes. After one of his altercations, officers from the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) seized at least 11 guns, including a Kalashnikov assault rifle, from deputies and their bodyguards.And last week, Ata-Jurt’s own Jyldyz Joldosheva threatened to strike another female deputy who refused to give her the floor. (Aside: Yes, Joldosheva is the same deputy terrorizing the population with claims that 400,000 copies of a book intended to rekindle ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan’s volatile south are floating around. She claims to have the only copy in the country, but is ignoring my repeated requests to see it. If you’d like to ask yourself, try calling her publicly listed office number: +996-312-638-576.)
David Trilling is Eurasianet’s managing editor.
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