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Coalition Partner Blasts 'Short-Sighted' Policies Of Kyrgyz Government

Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov (left) has in recent months been at odds with his former mentor, ex-President Almazbek Atambaev (right).

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's Social Democratic Party (SDPK) has blasted government policies as "short-sighted," indicating a growing tension between former President Almazbek Atambaev and the country’s current leader, Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

In an August 28 statement, the SDPK criticized the authorities' "short-sighted policies, persecution of political opponents, questionable appointments, weak economic policies," and claimed it was generating "an increasing protest mood in the country."

The SDPK party, which is part of the ruling coalition, is led by Atambaev.

The SDPK statement also accused the authorities of spreading "gossip" about Atambaev's alleged plans to illegally seize power, saying they should instead "start working on the real strengthening of the people's unity and mending the economy."

SDPK spokeswoman Kunduz Joldubaeva told RFE/RL that "some people in power have a vested interest in spreading rumors," insisting that Atambaev has no plans to seize power.

President Jeenbekov's office said it won’t issue an official response to the SDPK's accusations.

Jeenbekov, an ex-prime minister who was tapped by Atambaev as his favored successor in Kyrgyzstan's October 2017 presidential election, has been at odds with his former boss in recent months.

Two of Atambaev's close allies, former prime ministers Sapar Isakov and Jantoro Satybaldiev, who served during his presidency, were arrested in June on corruption charges.

In April, Jeenbekov sacked several other Atambaev allies, including Prosecutor-General Indira Joldubaeva and security service (UKMK) head Abdil Segizbaev, who had been criticized for a crackdown on opposition politicians and independent journalists.