New appointments in Kyrgyz government

The first appointments and personnel turn-over have taken place as part of the presidential plan for reforming Kyrgyzstan’s state administration system.

Tair Shamshiev

2009-10-30

KYRGYZSTAN — On Oct. 26, President Bakiyev announced the first appointments and turn-over of personnel in his plan for reforming the state administration system of Kyrgyzstan, which calls for a 40 percent reduction in government and presidential administration staff.

Government department heads were the first to be axed. The entire directorship of the Agency for Drug Control was let go, which analysts attribute to its poor performance in the fight against illegal drug trade. National Security Council Secretary Adakhan Madumarov was also fired, as his performance was sharply criticised by civil society organisations and parliament.

The presidential administration and secretariat have become part of the new Kyrgyz Presidential Institute, together with the Central Agency for Development, Investment and Innovation (CADII), the Presidential Council and the Development Council. In essence, the Presidential Institute is the former presidential administration. Virtually all its key figures have maintained their posts in the newly formed body. Oksana Malevannaya has been appointed the Secretariat's Director and Kanybek Zhoroev was named Director of Administration.

The President named his 32-year-old son, Maxim, who some think is being groomed to succeed him, as head of CADII.

The post of Energy Minister went to Ilyas Davydov, soon to face a serious test with the opening of the hydroelectric station Kambar-Ata-2 and winter electricity supply problems. Zhenish Baiguttiev, publisher of Social Rating and CEO of the private Tolubai Bank was named Minister of Economic Regulation.

A key change in the presidential reform programme has been the elevation in status of the Foreign Minister, now designated as Government Minister of Foreign Affairs, removing that position from direct supervision by the Prime Minister. External political and economic affairs are now the prerogative of the Presidential Institute rather than the government.

Radical opposition leader Azimbek Beknazarov is convinced that there is no more to the president’s reforms than a predictable attempt to consolidate power. Political analyst Marat Kazakpaev is also sceptical. The bureaucratic lay-offs and reshuffling of personnel do not yet provide evidence of any fundamental reform of the state administration system, Kazakpaev said.

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