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Almazbek Atambayev: I really wanted Jeenbekov to be elected president

Open Central Asia magazine published an exclusive interview with the ex-president of Kyrgyzstan, which, as noted, Almazbek Atambayev gave just hours before his arrest.

«The right to choose was ultimately up to the voters. The election system in Kyrgyzstan does not allow falsification of voting results. However, it should be recognized that in 2017 I really wanted Jeenbekov to be elected president. The fact is that since 2015, many people suggested I find a way to be re-elected for a second presidential term. But I had to set the example of a voluntary rejection of the idea of automatically extending the term of my rule in the country. Therefore, it was important to promise people that my course would be continued by new leaders of the country,» Almazbek Atambayev stated.

«Sooronbai Jeenbekov, in all his campaign speeches, promised to continue my political course and transition to a parliamentary form of government, where the real leader of the country is not the president, but the prime minister. The two revolutions of 2005 and 2010 showed that the Kyrgyz people cannot tolerate sole power. That is why a Prime Minister reporting to the parliament is a more acceptable option for Kyrgyzstan than an unaccountable president,» Atambayev stressed.

As the ex-president noted, unfortunately, almost immediately after the election, his successor went the other way.

«With the help of populism and slogans of fighting against corruption, he managed to generate hope among the people. They believed him at first. But after a year and a half has passed, people have seen that reforms have been curtailed. Rule by one family clan has been reborn. Everything that is connected with me and my name is being blackened. And the political persecution of my supporters has made my opposition,» he said.

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