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Former leader's arrest unsettles Kyrgyz democracy

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Significance

Atambayev is in custody after surrendering to special forces after their second attempt to storm his home. This seems to conclude the battle of wills between him and Sooronbay Jeenbekov, the man he chose to succeed him as president in 2017. Their personal differences grew into a political confrontation, although they are both aligned with the governing Social Democrats.

Impacts

  • Even far-fetched talk of a 'third revolution' damages the country's profile as a destination for tourism and investment.
  • Hardier investors such as Russia and China will be unconcerned as long as whoever is in charge is predictable and protects their interests.
  • Beijing will pay more attention to the August 5 violent protests against the Zhong Ji Mining company at the Solton-Sary gold field.
  • The narrative that Atambayev was targeted for corruption will be undermined by its persistence under the current government.
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