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Bishkek Mayor Dismissed While On Vacation

Bishkek Mayor Albek Ibraimov (file photo)
Bishkek Mayor Albek Ibraimov (file photo)

BISHKEK -- The mayor of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, has been dismissed while on vacation.

City council members decided unanimously to remove Albek Ibraimov in a no-confidence vote on July 13.

Ibraimov’s dismissal came a week after his deputy, Renat Makenov, was arrested on charges of abusing his power.

Ibraimov, who was mayor since 2016, is a close ally of Kyrgyzstan's former President Almazbek Atambaev.

Former prime ministers Jantoro Satybaldiev and Sapar Isakov, who served during Atambaev's tenure, were arrested last month in a corruption case.

In April, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov fired several of Atambaev’s allies, including Prosecutor-General Indira Joldubaeva and the head of the State Committee for National Security, Abdil Segizbaev, who had been criticized for a crackdown on opposition politicians and independent journalists.

The pressure put by authorities on Atambaev's allies is seen as evidence of a rift between Atambaev and Jeenbekov, an ex-prime minister who was tapped by Atambaev as his favored successor in Kyrgyzstan's October 2017 presidential election but has clashed with his former boss in recent months.

Atambaev, who was limited to a single six-year term by the constitution, initially kept a low profile after leaving office in November.

Following his election as head of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan on March 31, however, he has publicly criticized Jeenbekov.