icon caret Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Line Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Whatsapp Youtube
Opportunities and Challenges Await Kyrgyzstan’s Incoming President
Opportunities and Challenges Await Kyrgyzstan’s Incoming President
Briefing 76 / Europe & Central Asia

吉尔吉斯斯坦:发展态势尚未明朗

吉尔吉斯斯坦相对的稳定掩盖了其在中亚脆弱的邻国关系、不断恶化的民族紧张局势、宗教极端化以及政治上的挫败感。在吉尔吉斯斯坦10月4日议会选举即将到来之际,俄罗斯、西方和中国在此处的共同利益则为它们创造了一个独特的机会,即,为了吉尔吉斯斯坦选举期间及其之后的民主发展而合作。

概述

吉尔吉斯斯坦是中亚名义上仅有的议会民主制国家,且其在国内外都正面临着不断加剧的安全挑战。根固的民族矛盾、区域性宗教极端化、阿富汗前途未卜的局势、以及乌兹别克斯坦混乱的政权交替——这些情况都可能会严重影响到吉尔吉斯斯坦的稳定。令风险倍增的是,其领导层尚未能解决重大经济和政治问题——包括腐败和极端吉尔吉斯民族主义。极度贫困、社会服务水平下降,且其经济依赖于劳务移民的汇款。并且而鲜少有人对10月4日举行的议会选举抱有预期——由此组建一个改革性的政府。若吉尔吉斯斯坦发生——威胁国家存亡的——暴力剧变,动乱或将蔓延至区域内的邻国,而这些国家也都各自有着严重国内问题。包括欧盟(EU)和美国、以及俄罗斯和中国在内的国际社会应更广泛地意识这一危险,并积极敦促吉尔吉斯斯坦政府解决其迫在眉睫的国内问题。

自从其总统库尔曼别克·巴基耶夫(Kurmanbek Bakiyev)于2010年迫于激烈抗议下台后,包括现任总统阿尔马兹别克·阿坦巴耶夫(Almazbek Atambayev)在内的继任者均未能展现出明确的经济方向或强有利的领导。吉尔吉斯斯坦与西方国家的关系持续恶化。吉尔吉斯斯坦在政治和经济上对俄罗斯的依赖度越来越大,并于2015年8月成为——由俄罗斯主导的——欧亚经济联盟(Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union)的正式成员。在南方地区,自五年前奥什发生了由种族动机造成的死亡冲突后,其人口数量最多的两个民族——吉尔吉斯族和乌兹别克族——任然互相敌视,并迫使政府极力镇压。且其与乌兹别克斯坦和塔吉克斯坦的边境冲突亦并不少见。由奥什种族仇杀后出现的吉尔吉斯民族主义今已根深蒂固,并得到了国内不同组织的支持。一些地区所存在宗教极端化和党同伐异的行径——有时还被视为吉尔吉斯斯坦的传统价值观,而这也是当局面对的一个挑战。吉尔吉斯斯坦各政党并未对这些趋势做出应对,反倒是在容纳它们。

吉尔吉斯斯坦的10月选举是在——民众对处在半瘫痪的议会制度愈发失望的——不利背景下进行的。政府现首要任务应是缓和民族主义、促进政治包容性、切实改革,并管理预期。政府应首先制定政策来保护并促进国家的多民族、多教派的性质,抑制无秩序的民族主义,解决腐败问题。如果不如此,国家和社会的分裂将持续深化。这些分裂是巴基耶夫时代的遗产和2010事件恶果所致。国际社会——无论是通过双边还是多边组织,如欧盟、联合国、以及成员国包括俄罗斯在内的欧洲安全合作组织(OSCE)——都应为该国提供高层、持续的参与和专业指导,并同时推进改革,以此支持吉尔吉斯斯坦就要使其议会民主制度有效所做的声明。

比什凯克/布鲁塞尔,2015年9月30日

Presidential candidate Sooronbai Jeenbekov casts his ballot at a polling station during the presidential election in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan October 15, 2017. REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov

Opportunities and Challenges Await Kyrgyzstan’s Incoming President

The inauguration of Kyrgyzstan’s new president on 24 November is a tribute to the country’s parliamentary democracy. But to overcome continued vulnerability, Sooronbai Jeenbekov must manage powerful southern elites, define the role of religion in society and spearhead reconciliation with Central Asian neighbours Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Sooronbai Jeenbekov will be inaugurated as Kyrgyzstan’s fifth president on 24 November, the victor of a tight, unpredictable, contested but ultimately legitimate election. The new leader, a loyal member of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), won 54 per cent of the vote and gained a majority in every province but Chui and Talas – the home territory of the defeated main opposition candidate Omurbek Babanov.

As president, Jeenbekov will face a number of challenges and opportunities, both at home and in Central Asia. The state Committee for National Security (GKNB) on 4 November opened an investigation against Babanov for inciting ethnic hatred based on a speech he made on 28 September in an ethnic-Uzbek area of Osh, a city in southern Kyrgyzstan’s Ferghana Valley. Babanov called on Uzbeks to defend their rights and for any Kyrgyz police officers who harassed Uzbeks to be dismissed. Some observers see the GKNB case as politically motivated.

While tensions remain high in Osh, the epicentre of violent ethnic clashes that left 400 mostly Uzbeks dead in June 2010, unrest could also occur elsewhere. Babanov travelled abroad after the campaign, but if he returns he could be arrested at the airport, raising the possibility of protests in his stronghold of Talas, a city 300km west of Bishkek. His arrest and trial would undermine Kyrgyzstan’s international credibility, lay bare the politicisation of the security services and the judiciary, and show unwillingness to tackle deep-seated inter-ethnic issues in the south.

While tensions remain high in Osh, the epicentre of violent ethnic clashes that left 400 mostly Uzbeks dead in June 2010, unrest could also occur elsewhere.

Former President Almazbek Atambayev, also from the SDPK, was sometimes unpredictable but managed to balance competing regional and business interests inside Kyrgyzstan, key factors in the ousting of Presidents Kurmanbek Bakiev in 2010 and Askar Akayev in 2005. Jeenbekov will have to replicate this balancing act and make a strategic decision whether or not to reestablish central government control in Osh, which operates like a fiefdom. The latter risks upsetting heavy-weight figures in the south with vested interests, but in the long term, a failure to do so will perpetuate internal political tensions.

The new president will also have the opportunity to shape the debate about the role of religion in society. For too long – and much like other Central Asian states – Kyrgyzstan has overly securitised its response to those practicing non-traditional forms of Islam, creating tensions and resentments, while politicians leading a secular state make public displays of piety integral to their political personas. Kyrgyzstan is widely perceived as an easy target for terrorist activity, as the August 2016 attack on the Chinese embassy demonstrated. It will be essential to find a balance between assessing what are real risks and what are questions of religious freedoms and civil rights.

As soon as he takes office, Jeenbekov should make every effort to repair Kyrgyzstan’s relationship with Kazakhstan, which deteriorated spectacularly after President Atambayev accused Astana of meddling in the Kyrgyz presidential election to bolster Babanov. Astana responded by introducing strict customs controls on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border citing concerns about Chinese goods being smuggled through Kyrgyzstan. The disruption on the border is negatively affecting Kyrgyzstan’s economy and Kyrgyzstan has complained to the World Trade Organization and to the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, a trade bloc of which Kazakhstan is a founding member. Russia has so far failed to make any meaningful comment on the standoff.

The degree to which Kazakhstan is motivated by anger at Atambayev or genuine concerns about cross-border smuggling is unclear. Still, it will fall to Jeenbekov to spearhead a reconciliation. How open-minded Kazakhstan will be to resolving the spat will also depend on whether or not they see Jeenbekov as a strong, independent leader or merely Atambayev’s puppet.

There is now scope to improve relations with Uzbekistan in a way that was unimaginable before President Shavkat Mirziyoyev took office in December 2016. Much of the initiative is coming from the Uzbek side but the amount of progress made between the two states is remarkable. Regional cooperation, in the long term, will foster stability in Central Asia and Kyrgyzstan can play a leading role in both practicing and promoting the type of cooperation that defuses tensions in border areas and over shared resources such as water and energy. By doing so Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan can provide a model of collaboration and peacebuilding in the region.

Having been the first country in Central Asia to see a president voluntarily leave his post at the end of his constitutionally mandated term, Kyrgyzstan is in many respects light years ahead of its neighbours.

Kyrgyzstan is still a young parliamentary democracy in a difficult neighbourhood. If Jeenbekov is to continue Atambayev’s program of fighting corruption, efforts need to extend beyond targeting the SDPK’s political opponents. Kyrgyzstan and its partners should begin to address how corruption in politics can be tackled. Beyond the technical success of casting votes electronically, there are many opportunities for illegal practices. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election observers said the presidential elections were legitimate, but local concerns focus on arrests of opposition figures, vote buying and the misuse of administrative resources.

Having been the first country in Central Asia to see a president voluntarily leave his post at the end of his constitutionally mandated term, Kyrgyzstan is in many respects light years ahead of its neighbours. Tajikistan could be facing a potentially destabilising transition in 2020, and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, 77, cannot hold power forever. Any regional stress will be quickly felt in Bishkek, another reason that Jeenbekov should focus on bolstering Kyrgyzstan’s long-term stability while the situation is calm.