President Almazbek Atambayev is raising the stakes in his souring confrontation with former allies by calling on the Prosecutor General to investigate fellow members of the interim government that he led in 2010.
One of those erstwhile partners has fired back with accusations of corruption and a stark threat to state broadcasters, who he has suggested are orchestrating a smear campaign against Atambayev’s critics.
The ugly row is connected to plans to hold a constitutional referendum on December 4. Civil society groups have expressed concern that the vote is designed to bolster the current ruling elite’s grip on power. One widely circulating theory is that members of the entourage around Atambayev, who is limited by law to a single term that ends next year, are looking to shore up their positions ahead of the end of the president’s term.
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