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Atambaev Criticizes Kyrgyz President, Lawmakers After Parliament Votes To Strip His Immunity

Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev (file photo)
Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev (file photo)

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's former president has criticized his successor, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, and lawmakers in Bishkek a day after parliament voted to strip him of his immunity from prosecution.

In a June 21 statement placed on Facebook by his associate, Kunduz Joldubaeva, Almazbek Atambaev called the move by parliament a "politically motivated" attempt "by Jeenbekov to convict me on trumped up charges and remove his major political opponent."

Atambaev vowed to defend his dignity and honor, saying in his statement that "the dirtiest methods, the dirtiest politicians, and the dirtiest rumors have been used for more than a year in the attacks against my clean name."

On June 20, Kyrgyz lawmakers approved a resolution stripping Atambaev of the immunity all former presidents receive under the country's laws. The move came amid allegations that Atambaev abused his powers while in office.

Atambaev ruled Kyrgyzstan for a six-year term that ended in 2017, helping pass the reins of power to Jeenbekov -- who had been Kyrgyzstan's prime minister.

Atambaev expected Jeenbekov would continue his policies, but his successor quickly turned against him.

A parliamentary commission this week accused Atambaev of six counts of misconduct, including corruption.

The entire process of removing the former president's immunity could take two weeks, lawmaker Kanybek Imanaliev said.

Meanwhile, Jeenbekov’s government has been pursuing criminal allegations against other officials close to the former president.

Kyrgyz authorities earlier in June arrested Manasbek Arabaev, the ex-chief of the presidential office's department for judicial system reform, on corruption charges.

Sapar Isakov and Jantoro Satybaldiev, both of whom served as prime minister under Atambaev, have also been charged with corruption.

In 2018, Kyrgyz authorities arrested Adamkul Junusov, the former customs chief, and Ikramjan Ilmiyanov, a former adviser to Atambaev, on similar charges.

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