Kyrgyzstan: Ruling Party in Crisis Over Presidential Vote
In the most recent clarification of his retirement plans, Kyrgyzstan’s outgoing president Almazbek Atambayev told journalists he would “remain in politics” to lead a reorganization of his ruling Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, or SDPK.
If recent indications of factional strife within the party are anything to go by, he will have his work cut out for him.
SDPK is the only Kyrgyz party to feature in every government coalition since a bloody uprising in 2010 catapulted Atambayev to power. Nevertheless, it appears to be wilting in anticipation of presidential elections slated for October 15.
Officially the party has put forward only one candidate, Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov. That decision, taken by the party’s political council in May, is expected to be re-confirmed at SDPK’s congress July 15. Atambayev loyalist Jeenbekov has yet to post his candidacy with the country’s Central Election Commission, which has registered more than two dozen contenders at present.
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