Murder charges against Kyrgyz ex-president to have reverberations

The Kyrgyz Prosecutor General’s Office has announced that former President Almazbek Atambayev is being charged with corruption, violence against law enforcement officers and organizing mass unrest. Experts interviewed by Izvestia believe that the Central Asian country will manage to avoid any destabilization and riots.

Recent developments in Kyrgyzstan, including Atambayev’s detention along with the turmoil have sparked concern, first and foremost, among former Soviet states. However, Kyrgyz officials understand that improving the situation in the country requires dialogue between the opposing parties, said Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Leonid Kalashnikov.

The authorities need to brace for possible protests by the ex-president’s supporters during his trial, said Azhdar Kurtov, an expert at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. "Nevertheless, I don’t think we will see a third coup. The government has made it clear that it won't hesitate to use force if needed. Besides, Atambayev, who is in custody, doesn’t have enough supporters to sway the situation," the expert pointed out.

"Those who support the former president will ponder their future steps based on how Atambayev’s trial unfolds," CABAR.asia analytics outlet editor Timur Toktonaliyev emphasized. "Unrest is unlikely to happen. Elections are going to take place next year and his Social Democratic Party will try to score points from the trial to get as many seats in parliament as possible," he said.

Political scientist Arkady Dubnov told Kommersant that the remark by the head of the Kyrgyz State National Security Committee that Atambayev wanted blood to be spilled in order to carry out a coup was groundless. According to the expert, such statements are aimed at "fully suppressing resistance from any of Atambayev’s supporters."

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